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The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell (Excerpt)

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Mr. Caldwell’s pig distracts everyone from his or her chosen mission. What the pig eventually does is root up in Aunt Kitty’s vegetable garden evidence of a possible transgression that each of the novel’s three Irish characters is convinced the other probably benefited from.
Mr. Caldwell’s pig distracts everyone from his or her chosen mission. What the pig eventually does is root up in Aunt Kitty’s vegetable garden evidence of a possible transgression that each of the novel’s three Irish characters is convinced the other probably benefited from.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Mar 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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THE PIG DID IT 
By Joseph Caldwell
“Pigs! Pigs!”Aaron heard the taunt through the heavy glass windows of the bus.Two teenagers coming toward them on their bikes repeated the cry as theywheeled past the windows. “Pigs! Pigs!” Aaron didn’t doubt that this wassome social commentary aimed at those who sat passively and were cartedcomfortably from one place to another in adjustable, upholstered seats.“Pigs!” The shout faded in the distance. Aaron twisted in his seat to catchsome final glimpse of the insolent bikers, but they were gone. The only other movement among the passengers was a general straining not in the directionof the hostile youths but toward the front of the bus. A man in a heavy tweedsuit snorted, the sound not unlike that of the animal just mentioned. A youngwoman closed her book and studied her fingernails. Those in the aisle seatsleaned sideways for a clearer view ahead. A tall skinny man got up and wentto the front of the bus. His hair, whitened with what seemed to be zinc oxide,rose in stiff spikes from his scalp. He was wearing a leather vest over a redsilk shirt, his pants a pair of baggy blue sweats, and his shoes the obligatoryuntied Reeboks. The youth peered through the windshield, blocking the viewof anyone else who might want to take a look up ahead.The driver had slowed the bus and by the time they had rounded acurve, Aaron understood the bikers’ cry. There, crowding the road, were the pigs, a mob more than a herd, each squealing and screaming as if thedestined slaughter were already under way.
 
A few pigs were now clambering up the rock walls that lined theroadway, others trotting up the hills, with about four of them sniffing thewheel of a truck stuck in a ditch. One of the front wheels was still spinning,as if the truck’s fortune, for better or worse, would be made manifest at anymoment.The bus stopped; the door opened. The spike-haired man was the firstoff, then the driver. With some pushing and shoving of their own—as if taking their example from the pigs—the passengers, Aaron included,emptied the bus. A frail elderly woman elbowed her way to the front with allthe courtesy and consideration of a fullback.The round-up of an escaped pig is not a spectator sport. Almostwithout exception the passengers were wading in among the pigs or runningalong the road, clapping their hands, calling out,
“Suuee! Suuee! Suuee!”
Ayoung woman with a switch pulled from the nearby thicket was trying toherd the pigs together in the road and move them in the direction the bus andthe truck had been going. She was, Aaron noted, a bit too self-consciouslycostumed as a swineherd in her baggy black woolen pants and thick woolensweater, dark gray, spattered with the rust colors of earth, the green stains of crushed grass, and a few purple streaks of unknown origin.And yet, to Aaron, she seemed more a dancer than a keeper of pigs.Her sneakered feet managed to escape being dainty, but only just. And their quick pivots and graceful turns allowed him to guess with fair accuracy theeasy movements of a most feminine form that not even the outsize clothingcould begin to conceal. Then, too, her auburn hair would be flung across her face, first one side, then the other, suggesting a happy abandon hardly

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