THE pig, one of the symbols of Simbu wealth and identity which still has great significance today, was ripe for stealing.
The scene was the rugged terrain around Kalumnigle village in Simbu Province.
It was a fine Saturday afternoon and we were unable to say ‘no’ to commit a silly act to satisfy our hunger, thirst and eagerness for protein containing a lot of fat.
I, along with a couple of muscular, aggressive and fearless boys, had a common thought: to explore the wealth that irritates someone enough to cause aggression and violence.
We had a game of rugby at a nearby field. Many of our players were injured, while others were a bit down with hunger to taste the fat that can dissolve and give satisfaction. It was a primary drive that drove we gentlemen into madness to commit crime.
A plan was executed. The fearless boys welcomed the idea of satisfying their greed. We assured one another that the idea of stealing was better that letting our consciences override us. The focus was to steal a huge pig worth of K2,000 or more.
One of our comrades saw the pig. It was located at a nearby village on the other side of the fast flowing Nilguma River. It was on the river bank and the muscular boys planned an agenda whereby the pig would swim like a dead drift log across the river.
The motion was passed and sealed for no one to reveal and the plan was to be implemented the next day.
It was bright Sunday morning and the villagers were getting themselves prepared to depart for worship. Only the muscular boys gave excuses. Body aches would prevent them from walking to the church.
Their true motive, of course, was to become slaves of evil. The paramount desire was to implement the evil plan. As the entire village left for church, the selected boys commenced their journey of violence.
Gand commanded the group. He led the fearless thieves along the track leading to the pig. They made sure no one was around to witness the unlawful incident.
They bravely dragged the gigantic pig away from its yard. One muscular fellow pounded a huge log across the pig’s forehead. The pig let out an ugly and powerful cry and nearby villagers sensed the warning.
The sound also reached a coffee thief who raised his eyes to see five boys drifting the huge pig like a dead log using the current of the river.
We took the pig to the other side of the river but as we reached the coffee thief was there to catch us red handed. But he seemed to want to keep to himself what he saw and we fellow thieves walked to freedom with our catch.
Of course, the best portion of the harvested protein was given to the key witness with a sum of K20 as a form of bribery. The coffee thief accepted the offer and assured us that he would not report the incident (he would not let the cat out of the bag).
We thanked him and returned home happily. Eventually, we evenly shared the other portion of the pig. But that portion of fat did not quench our dry throat, since we heard the owners of the pig were pursuing an investigation.
The investigation began with threats and sarcastic comments. It posed a lot of fear in the community.
The instigators remained quiet to ensure information was not leaked to the owners. Then the pig’s owners offered an attractive reward for an informant. Additionally, the key witness made up his mind to let the cat out of the bag.
The ‘coffee thief’ accepted the reward and revealed the secret information, totally letting the cat out of the bag. The informant walked away swiftly with the reward while the owner’s tribe pursed a commotion against our tribe. The incident erupted for some time and the culprits were lawfully degtained for questioning.
The guilty were made accountable for their evil deed. They were commanded to repay a pig each of the owners. The owner made a profit of five pigs and headed home with cries of laughter and excitement against the thieves.
The fearless pig thieves had some regrets but still celebrated the victory of stealing and enjoying the pork.