Once upon a time, there lived a butcher whose fathers and grandfathers were also butchers. For many generations, they lived a busy life by raising pigs.
The butcher had a huge pig ring, with endless grounds, about 9.6 million square meters in total area. The number of pigs was also countless, about 1.4 billion, I guessed.
Everyday, the butcher killed some pigs and sold their meat. He also ate some of the meat.
Strangely, all the pigs seemed to be happy about that. And few of them ever thought of running away.
A small piggy was only one month and a half. With great curiosity, this piggy thought a lot of his surrounding world daily. He spoke often in a strange way. Sometimes he might look into the sky and asked about the universe. Sometimes when he looked at the high walls of the pigsty, he might also lose the interest of learning about the outside world. Sometimes he just dug into the earth to see what was underneath his feet.
All other pigs laughed at his strange thoughts but no one liked to talk to him. Only one veteran pig had the desire to ask him something to show off his concern.
One day, the veteran pig and young piggy sat down together for a talk when they were having some rest after meal, enjoying the sunshine while lying on the muddy ground.
Piggy asked, “Elder pig, do you think you are living a happy life?”
Veteran pig said, “Why not? As a pig, I have things to eat and drink everyday. And I have a home to stay. Don’t you think this isn’t a happy life?”
Piggy said, “But why doesn’t the owner make our pigsty spacious and more comfortable? And cleaner too, like his own house?”
Veteran pig was unhappy to hear of these words. He rebuked, “You have such a piggy mind! If we have the pigsty made clean, can it be called a pigsty any longer? We have lived like this generations after generations. You want to have a home like the owner’s? Are you revolting?”
Piggy said, “The owner has lived a wealthy life because of us.”
Veteran pig said, “Are you mentally ill? It is the owner who has raised us. He does not need us to survive!? Without him feeding us daily, we can be up to nothing.”
Piggy asked, “Is that the truth? And do you feel happy about that?”
Veteran pig said, “Sure, I am happy. I have things to eat and drink everyday. And I have a home. In future, I am going to marry a female pig and have lots of kids. Isn’t this the meaning of life?”
Piggy asked, “Besides eating, drinking and a place to live, shall we think of other things like freedom? Shall we walk down the mountains and rivers and enjoy our free traveling? There must be fresh grass outside instead of such poor meals, and everyday the same?”
The veteran pig was angry to hear of the word “Freedom”. “Shut up!” he said, “That is the word from the mouth of those bad people outside who hate our owner. We have our own freedom here. Freedom within the pigsty and freedom outside the pigsty are two different things. You shall not have listened to what the bad people have said. Outside our pigsty is a terrible world. Many of our enemies are living there: wolves, tigers, leopards. They are all hungry for our meat. You’d better never think of getting along with them! You can walk freely within our pigsty when you listen to our owner. And you better behave as such.”
Piggy said, “Why does the owner often walk and play outside the pigsty? Besides, his kids all have the chances to study in the outside world. Should we have the same rights?”
Veteran pig said, “How dare you compare yourself with the owner? He is such a God-like person, with his brightness in all aspects. With his wisdom, he is able to deal with the enemies outside and even build a good relationship with them so that we can live a peaceful life here. He has been working hard daily to counter our enemies. Still many enemies come to challenge us.”
Piggy was confusing. He asked, “What shall we do then?”
Veteran pig said in a calm way, “We must unite with the owner and ask him to build higher walls for our protection. When our walls are high enough, foreign evil forces can be stopped. This is not the best solution, though. We shall also avoid eating foods from those suppliers who are saying bad things about our owner. If we refuse to eat their food, their businesses will be closed.”
Piggy said, “What can we eat then without their supplies?”
Veteran pig said, “Of course, we can eat earth. That has been our tradition. Or we can just eat grass to survive for a year at least.”
Piggy asked, “And why the White Piggy is allowed little food and always hungry while the Yellow Pig has all the good food everyday?”
Veteran pig said, “You see when the owner comes everyday, the Yellow Pig smiles to him and is almost very humble in his words. This makes the owner very happy. The White Pig never shows his good attitude and always runs away. The owner has his temple. He likes to be treated with respect.”
Piggy said, “But I saw the owner killed the White Pig and ate his meat, even his bones!”
Veteran pig said, “You are spreading rumors. I didn’t see that. The White Pig might have committed suicide. The owner has not killed him! He cares for our security a lot. Surely, he won’t allow anyone who causes instability within our pigsty. He comes in to see us everyday and shows great concern for every one of us. You should not have defamed our owner here. If not for your taking care of me sometimes, I must punish you by cutting our friendship. Don’t ever say such stupid things again! As a pig, our duty is to eat and sleep; and then one day we will die. That is our fate.”
That’s the end of our story today.
By Citizen Laohei
Translation by staff