Ambai Mary

Anonymous – Papua New Guinea, (fl. 2012)

A day in the comfortable life of a highlands pig

  1. I knew a lady who took her piglets to the market every day with her in an old pram.
  3. Like all of us they need love and affection.
  5. And – just like unruly kids – she couldn’t trust them on their own back home.
  7. Pigs have sensitive skin and need to be protected from the sun or they can get sunburned.
  9. Each morning, my Grandma used to dust them with the previous night’s ashes from the fire then take them to a mud wallow, where they could roll round and get the mud good and deep into their skin.
  11. Then they would be allowed to root around in the shade of the trees until evening, constrained by leg-leashes. Then down to the river for a swim. It is important to wash them free of mud and insects.
  13. Then it is home to bed in the sty – or maybe in the kitchen house in a special pen. They help keep the place warm.
  15. I have slept in a kitchen house with pigs in the pen next to me. It’s rather reassuring hearing them grunting and snoring through the night. (Yes, pigs snore).

 from PNG Attitude. A day in the comfortable life of a highlands pig, 20 January 2012. Keith Jackson AM, Publisher & Editor.

About the Poet:

Ambai Mary [sic. Meri], Papua New Guinea, (fl. 2012) is the pen name of this anonymous author, who is known to Keith Jackson, the editor of PNG Attitude.

The piece was written anonymously because of the writer’s anxiety about some prejudicial attitudes in Australia. Ambai is an Austronesian language spoken in Indonesian New Guinea. [DES-11/17]

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.