I’ve mentioned before that there’s an old guy who keeps cerdos on the plot of land alongside the olivar. Just two pigs, each year: one for each of his daughters. I’ve started taking the windfalls across for them when I walk down to the village.
When the guy isn’t there, I leave the bag by the chair where he sits each day, morning and evening, watching the pigs get fat. Sometimes one of the other viejos del pueblo joins him and they put the world to rights while the old burro grazes patiently, tethered to an olive tree.
Sometimes the old man just sits there alone, armed with a long cane – though I haven’t worked out if he uses it to scratch the animals’ backs or to make sure they each get equal access to the trough.The other evening I realised that I am not the only person who leaves their harvest offerings at the pig-sty shrine.
I am reminded of the theory that ‘man made god in his own image’, and wonder what it says about the village if we are worshipping pig-gods. And I wonder what will happen to our destinies come Martinmas, when it’s time for the matanza.