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Warts and all
1st October, 2004
Hoover accepted human society for what it was: rich in resources but nevertheless imperfect, unpigly. And he discovered that a solitary pig is a sad thing, almost as useless as a bee without a hive.I think that pigs everywhere are dropping semantic pearls before human swine who labour under the delusion that all pigs can do is go ‘oink’ ‘Impisi,’ whispered Jabula. ‘Hyena.’He held out his arm to keep me back, lifting a finger to his lips to tell me to be quiet, and stood there, crouched a little, turning his head from side to side, searching for something. I froze, and we stood that way for a long time, waiting to see, or hear, or smell whatever it was that had made him so alert. Hyenas will usually avoid humans, but you can never be certain. In the end, he relaxed a little and began to move forward very slowly, looking at every scuff and drag mark in a clearing directly ahead of us. The floor of this arena looked like a battleground, scarred with prints of several sizes and stained with dark patches of dry blood. And there in the centre lay a warthog tail, a long one with its tuft still intact, so big that it could only have belonged to an adult animal. ‘That’s all they left,’ said Jabula with a shrug. I knew he was right. Hyenas can eat and digest just about anything. Skin and bones and even teeth are all crushed up by their powerful jaws and dissolved in a...
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