the 8 that got away

We are still in town for a few more days. Here’s a piece I wrote awhile ago on culture. Enjoy. 


They say it’s because the poison is weak. He just couldn’t hear them vomit.

For the last couple of weeks our neighbor has been going pig hunting every chance he gets. He’s successfully shot eight pigs. But he hasn’t been able to bring even one home. His wife told me, “he just couldn’t hear them vomit.” Which really meant nothing to me; what does a pig vomiting have to do with coming home empty handed?

Michael put a few more bits and pieces of the story together for me. Our neighbor hunts with a blow gun, and uses poison on his darts. In fact the poison is so powerful that when he sharpened his blowgun darts with his machete, he cleaned the machete off by sticking it in a banana tree. Because the banana tree was contaminated, he cut the banana tree down, and got rid of it. Crazy stuff.

For whatever reason this batch of poison wasn’t any good, or not good enough. The eight pigs had gotten away because after getting shot, they didn’t right away vomit and die, instead they were able to run away before vomiting. After shooting one of the pigs, our neighbor got some friends together to try to go track and track it down. Michael went along. After a lot of walking they found nothing. Our neighbor figures someone else found the dead pig windfall.

That’s why he looked so tired in church. He said he’d fallen asleep and almost fell out of the tree. I guess 8 failed attempts must wear on a person, that and waking long before dawn every morning to try and get meat for your family. The only thing left to do is get some more powerful poison. The word on the street says there is some about 5 hours from here. But our neighbor doesn’t want to mess with it until his uncle is around to do it. It takes someone with real experience and knowledge to mix that powerful stuff.

Buying a gun would be easier. Or walking into a supermarket and buying meat.


*The above picture is of our neighbor’s son, Yon. It was photographed by one of our friends. 

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