For all you hear about the intelligence of pigs – smarter than dogs, as smart as dolphins – the pig’s greatest talent is for stubbornness. Pigs listen for no different drummers. They choose no less traveled paths. They seek no divine redemptions.
The pigs’ stubbornness extends even beyond its own best interests. Obstacles or change be damned. Pigs prefer to move in a straight line with a single-minded purpose that resists deviation. Pigs have their own inertia and an internal frame of reference.
Any man, be he King or commoner, may drive a swine to a mud hole. But short of jumping in first as an enticement, not even all the King’s men can oblige that swine to wallow if it has no ambition to do so.
King Bladud of Bath
Like some old woman, you can try to get your dog to nip at your pig and get it over the stile. But you feel the press of its stubborn being as the pig remains cross-grained and opposed to your intentions.
Even in death, properly cooked pig meat – first treated with salt, sugar and other rubbings – is determined by the tactile resilience or ‘stubbornness’ of the flesh.