I have come to question my behaviour when dealing with a pig over the past couple of years. Well, pigs actually.
How do I know I’m not the pig and the others perfectly innocent and reasonable people? First and foremost I think it is right to ask the question even if the answer is less simple. I am deeply suspicious of the self righteous and those of deep unquestioning certainty.
I have been trying to help a couple of waggy labradors who tend to turn the other cheek and suffer in silence when assaulted on all sides by creatures of apparently great malice. Said labradors are unfortunately natural victims – pleasant, happy go lucky people who tend to get trampled on by the selfish, the malicious and the venal.
The particular pig in question has tried to short change the labrador couple for the past couple of years on a transaction. The other pigs in question, for reasons best known to themselves, turned against the waggy labradors and made unforgivable and slanderous accusations of theft and all sorts of other unpleasant nonsense.
The property pig has been on a land grab. He was buying one half of a property, the labradors the other. Said pig first tries to claim the labradors are only entitled to a island of land in the middle on which sits a crumbling cottage without access to any roads. Said pig claims the deeds say he is entitled to the rest.
Once said pig is seen off, he turns his attention to restrictive covenants and insists he will only contract to buy the property if he gets any and all covenants he requires: the labradors will be able to do nothing with their property other than sell it to Mr Pig for twopence. Again Mr Pig was largely seen off.
Unfortunately Mr Pig insisted on having ownership of the access road and obtained planning consent without consulting the labradors or thinking of their needs. If carried out the planning consent would be in breach of covenant but said Mr Pig refuses to concede. So the labradors’ access to their cottage is to be narrowed if Mr Pig has his way and it would be very difficult for the emergency services to get in.
I have dealt sternly with Mr Pig and all the other Pigs. I have let them get away with as little as possible. And yet pigs have a habit of trying to make you feel the dirty one.
Could I have handled the situation better? Yes. Could I have been more tactful and less abrasive? Probably. Am I wrong and the pigs right? No, I really don’t think so. If I had been fighting my own corner I would probably have felt far less sure that I was right. Happily I was only trying to help the labradors.
But what should I have done? Is it right to “fight”? To stand up for people’s right not to be dumped on? Or should I too have turned the other cheek? Walked away? Let the labradors get swindled and cheated?
Well I suppose it would have made for a quieter life and saved me a lot of effort, soul searching and anxiety. My wife is also a waggy labrador – or Pollyanna. She believes that the meek inherit the earth and also tends to let herself get trampled on. What would she have done? Who knows, I didn’t ask her.
If pigs treated labradors as they themselves would like to be treated, the whole world would be fine and dandy. But if the pigs hear such a message they trample the message bearer to the ground. Pigs will always be pigs I guess. Thank heavens most of them eventually get turned into bacon.