by Luke Crane
A hobbled man stood under the awning. He carried a baby Tamworth pig in a shopping bag and claimed to be going door to door, selling meat that he had butchered that morn. He had crackling, trotters for soup and ears for dogs. It was all in his backpack. Heâ€™d show us all his wares if weâ€™d only let him in. â€œThatâ€™s a bad omen.â€ Said Sarah, after we turned the man and his black piglet away.
Across the street, starlings circled and settled on a chimney stack. I thought about the brandy snaps and halva I had purchased earlier from a seven fingered peddler. I darenâ€™t tell Sarah about the fingers. â€œMaybe itâ€™s just going to rain.â€ I said. â€œNo, I donâ€™t feel it in my knuckles.â€ Sarah said. She cracked every one to make sure. The starlings took off, looped the loop and returned. The pigman moved onto the next house. â€œMaybe we have to save that pig.â€ Sarah said, â€œI think itâ€™s in our future.â€ â€œMaybe.â€ I said. I looked at the Starlings, wanting them to fly off as a sign. They didnâ€™t. They looked settled for the night. â€œHypothetically,â€ I said, â€œis having only seven fingers good luck or bad?â€ â€œMostly bad.â€ Sarah said. â€œAnd say you lost them in a ferret attack.â€ I said. â€œStill mostly bad.â€ She said. And stormed off up the road to rescue the pig.