Peyton’s Place

I was standing in my kitchen during a visit back to the US about a year ago when a rather sinister-looking black snout suddenly burst through the pet door used by the cats. I would soon learn that the creature was a pot-bellied pig that, for reasons too complex and uninteresting to go into here, is now living in my backyard. Her name is Peyton, and she’s actually fearsomely smart (way smarter than any cat). That said, she rolls in dirt all day long, eats like a vacuum cleaner, makes all kinds of strange noises and isn’t really my ideal type of pet. Maybe I just need to get used to her. Meanwhile, this blog wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t share a couple photos of my new housemate. (She’s actually a yard mate at the moment, but when winter comes she moves into the house. We’ll see how cute I think she is then.)

Peyton scarfs down beef stew from the pot.

Peyton scarfs down beef stew from the pot.

Peyton takes a bath.

Peyton takes a bath.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 27 Comments

I’m searching for the China angle and the only thing I can come up with is pork – or swine flu at a stretch.

September 28, 2009 @ 8:44 am | Comment

Well, in China the pig used to live under the roof with the family, so maybe I’m somehow returning to my actual roots.

September 28, 2009 @ 8:55 am | Comment

This is totally the newlywed bride in me talking, but…is Peyton eating out of a Le Creuset french oven? If so, that’s one pampered pig. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

September 28, 2009 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Oh my God, someone actually recognizes the cookware I use! Le Creuset is the best for pot roast (and everything else). Good eye.

September 28, 2009 @ 9:08 am | Comment

“Le Creuset is the best for pot roast”

Don’t tell Peyton.

September 28, 2009 @ 9:54 am | Comment

Is this a mail order piggy?

September 28, 2009 @ 10:43 am | Comment

No, it’s a friend’s, and we’ve agreed to keep him here for a little while. Now we’re going into year two.

September 28, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Comment

Hilarious! Thanks for posting this! I think she looks adorable. But then she’s not living in my backyard..

September 28, 2009 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Luckily she sleeps most of the day. She also has radar, and runs to the back door anytime I open the refrigerator, hoping we’ll give her something. So annoying.

September 28, 2009 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Hhhhmmmm….

Very foresighted. Preparing yourself some food supply just in case the dollar value gets too low?

;-)

September 28, 2009 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

haha. Little piggy. piggy piggy.

Okay. It’s pretty sweet.

At least on a picture and from far.

Oh yeah. Something you can definitely eat when the crap hits the fan here soon.

September 28, 2009 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

River Snail Girl

Long ago, there was a young man in a small village, he worked very hard on his land, but he’s still very poor. He’s almost thirty years old, still couldn’t find himself a wife.

One day, while he was working in the paddy field, he saw a big river snail, it was so big that he couldn’t lift it up with one hand, and look the colour of its shell, it was so beautiful and green, like an ancient jade. He was so happy and took the snail home, and put it into an old water tank.

Time flies, three years past. This hard working young man still is all by himself, alone. One day, after he finished his work in the paddled fields, he found there was a delicious fresh cooked meal waiting for him at the table, still steaming hot. He was so tired and hungry, and couldn’t care less, he had the best meal for years and had a very nice sleep afterwards. He thought that must be the kind neighbor Aunti Li, so few days later, he knocked her door to say thank you. Aunti Li was really surprised “No, it’s not me.” She said “I heard the noise of someone cooking in your house the other day, and I was thinking you boy finally find yourself a wife.”

One day, he went out to the fields in the morning, but he sneaked back about lunch time and hide under the windowsill. He waited and waited, suddenly he heard a clink. He peeked into the room; the lid of the water tank had been slowly pushed open, there was the most beautiful young girl he ever saw in his life, she looked so pretty in an emerald dress, he thought she looked like a fairy from the heavenly palace. The beautiful girl in green didn’t notice that someone’s watching her, she went into the kitchen and started cooking. Not long, the food’s ready on the table, the girl lifted the lid of the water tank again, and vanished. This young man couldn’t believe what he saw, he thought it must be a dream. So he hide under the windowsills for another few days, and everyday lunchtime he saw this beautiful girl cooking meal for him.

The young man couldn’t help but wondering, why this kind and beautiful girl cooking meal for him everyday? So one day, when the girl’s cooking, he pushed the door open, and caught her in his arms; she was really shocked and ran towards the water tank. He locked the kitchen door, and went to the water tank himself. When he opened the lid, he couldn’t believe his eyes, at the bottom of the water tank, there was only an empty river snail shell, big and so green like an ancient jade. He worried the girl would leave him after she get back to her shell, so he hide the shell in the garden. Then he opened the kitchen door, that beautiful girl rushed to the water tank, when she saw her shell had gone she couldn’t help but crying, in her tears, she told the young man that she was a fairy of river snail, she was here to pay her debt of gratitude, because in their last life this young man saved her life, for she planned to look after the young man, and later she would keep on her journey to become a Xian (an upper fairy, somehow like an angel), but now as she couldn’t find her shell, she might just marry him.

Therefore, this young man married with this beautiful girl, it was said they had few children, and had a peaceful and happy life.

Morale of the story is, never taking a visting animal for granted, you never know what gonna to happen, don’t be surprised if you found a full English breakfast waitting for you when you wake up ^^

September 28, 2009 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

@Chi – That was a lovely story, reminds me of my childhood days in the Lake District, where my mother made friends with a wild owl – all she had to do was stretch out her (unprotected) arm and the owl would land on it, if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it.

@Richard – That’s a beautiful looking porker you’ve got there – take good care of her! A friend of mine in Taiwan used to have a pot-bellied pig, but had to give him up as it was of the kind which continues to grow up to a much larger size – he had bought it thinking it was a miniature.

September 28, 2009 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

Hope that it won’t come to this.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/32698455#32698455

September 28, 2009 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

There’s some good eatin’ in a pig…. But I’m sure that that little bugger ain’t gonna end up in a hāngi… sadly.

September 28, 2009 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Ah! I have a skill–if only identifying premium cookware was a marketable skill… Thanks for the laugh!

September 29, 2009 @ 12:34 am | Comment

Chi, thanks for the story. I’d love there to be a happy ending for Peyton. Unfortunately, last night she escaped the backyard and got onto the street, terrifying some of the elderly neighbors who came pounding on the door at 3am. I think she would make an excellent meal.

Pug, that’s a hilarious clip – I actually saw it the night it aired. The butter part is funniest.

September 29, 2009 @ 1:00 am | Comment

I’m curious. Since pigs are considered as exotic animals, does your neighborhood allow them to be kept as animals?

September 29, 2009 @ 4:40 am | Comment

All I know is a police car drove by recently while she was playing in the front yard. Two officers got out and they must have radioed a second car that soon arrived. Soon we had four cops in front of the house, each snapping photos of Peyton and one of them taping her on a video cam as she ran around the house. Everyone in the neighborhood knows about her and she always draws a crowd when she’s let out of the backyard. After a year, I’m presuming either there are no restrictions or no one cares.

September 29, 2009 @ 4:44 am | Comment

No, it’s a friend’s, and we’ve agreed to keep him here for a little while. Now we’re going into year two.

Swine flu conspiracy. Richard is on Obama’s death panel, that panel that gives your grandma swine flu.

I knew it.

September 29, 2009 @ 7:47 am | Comment

if you really love that pig then stop feeding her human food !! she needs Potbelly Pig food . it is cheap & good for her & raw veggies so she won’t get hugh !!

September 29, 2009 @ 11:51 am | Comment

Vickie, first of all,I’m not the one taking care of the pig. Second, it’s being fed mainly pig chow. It gets treats like left-over-beef stew every day or two, in small amounts.

September 29, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

Give your pet their own special pet door. Pet doors provide your pets with the freedom to come and go as they please without requiring you to let them in and out every time. Selecting a quality pet door can help save energy during the hot and cold seasons. Choose a pet door large enough for your pet to enter and exit comfortably and safely. Pet doors should have a closing panel for times when you want to secure your Pet Door.

September 29, 2009 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

Nice piece of spam, Mr. Fence.

September 30, 2009 @ 12:37 pm | Comment

@ stuart,

A bit puzzled by your post (#1): “I’m searching for the China angle and the only thing I can come up with is pork – or swine flu at a stretch.”

What has China, any more than any other country, got to do with swine flu?

October 15, 2009 @ 12:33 am | Comment

Jer, the day before there was a discussion here about swine flu in China.

October 15, 2009 @ 12:45 am | Comment

@ Richard,

Ah, I see, thanks. I’m only a very irregular visitor to your blog.

October 15, 2009 @ 12:56 am | Comment

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