Rusty Roger's pet and confidante, "Pig", is not overly fond of having his toe-nails trimmed, in fact he cuts up rough about it.
Why this is so, is hard to determine. Is it nature or nuture? He is after all a Feral Pig of the breed "Sus Scrofa", and thus podiatry would not come naturally. Or is it nuture? Pig did have a disturbed upbringing before Roger came into his life years ago.
Pig's former owner was a Chewton local, Graham John Holden, a handyman with a love for nature, known to all as "Bushy". He had the misfortune to meet up with Lee Patrick Torney.
Torney, even among "colourful racing identities", i.e. "criminals" was a nasty piece of work. He had shot his former partner in the back, and even his mother claimed her son would have no hesitation in killing her, on a whim, and lived in constant fear of him.
He was a vicious, cold-blooded psychopath.
The only thing going for him, was that he was friends with George Williams, father of the late and unlamented baby-faced Carl, and Andrew`Benji' Veniamin, who had a little run in with Mick Gatto in 2005.
He was released, on lifetime parole in 2003, and moved to Elphinstone, where he lived a quiet life, being only interested in guns, violence of some kind, and growing marihuana...simple pleasures.
He decided to form a partnership with Bushy to grow Weed. Bushy would do the growing, and Torney would do the marketing, and they would split 50/50. They planted 40 plants near Bushy's place.
For reasons known to none, Bushy decided one day to relocate the crop, and 36 of the 40 plants died. Torney was "not happy", and when Torney was thus troubled, someone had to pay, big time.
He moved into Bushy's place and evicted him. Bushy had to live in a cave. He was scared of Torney, but also angry, and as for Torney, he felt he had not punished Bushy enough, because Bushy was still walking.
Eventually a showdown occurred. Shovels were chosen as weapons.
Torney struck first, at Bushy's legs. Bushy replied by two wacks on the head, and a third that actually cleaved the skull. Torney was an ex-gangster. Bushy dragged the body off to a mine shaft, used the same shovel to put some dirt down, and, for good measure, chucked a couple of 44's down as well, cleaned the shovel, and drove Torney's car into town.
It was into this troubled scene that Pig was born, though totally oblivious of the carnage around him, and would have remained so, had it not been for Bushy getting wind of the a tightening net around him, in the midst of a full-blown gangster war in Melbourne.
For reasons not entirely clear to anyone, Bushy took his pigs out to Mt Alexander, and released them into the wild.
Enter Rusty Roger.
He and a friend were doing a little private horticultural work on the back of the Mount when they noticed a scrawney pig following them. They dropped a piece of salad roll and moved on. The pig pounced on the roll. They ran down the hill yelling: "Pig! Pig! Pig!" The pig followed.
A cunning trap was planned. A lassoo was put down. The last bit of the salad roll was placed in the centre, and the pair retired to the side.
It took the full strength of both men to control Pig, but control him they did., and took him home.
Since then love blossomed between Roger and Pig, and both are happy, and relaxed, in each other's company. Roger often spends time in conversation with Pig, who is happy to listen and grunt in approbation at every bon mot Rusty Rog chucks at him..
Toe-nail trimming is another matter however. Vets charge like the prize bulls they look after, and a home visit for a single pig is totally out of the financial means for a gardener-sculptor, so other means had to be found.
Roger decided to get the pig pissed. The first time, he administered the "medicine" in the afternoon, which was not a good idea. Pig drank half a slab of beer with a gusto that was awe inspiring, licked his lips and wanted more. It took some wine and a considerable amount of port before he fell over. Even then, they only managed to get three legs done before he woke up, hung over, bad tempered, and looking for another drink.
The toe continued to grow, and poor Pig was crippled. Another attempt had to be made.
This time things were better organised, or so we thought. The previous attempt had taken ages, and lots of booze, so, this time with plenty of alcohol, plenty of helpers, video cameras, confidence was high that not only would Pig get clipped, but it would all be captured on film.
Had not factored in the empty stomach.
The initial, pre-dinner drinks phase, went according to plan: Pig drank his half a slab, no worries, then, while Kiwi Leyah was away getting more supplies, and Pig only a quart or two into his port wine, he became legless, and fell over. Fuck it! This was not captured on tape.
He may have been down, but was not disabled, and certainly wasn't going to go into that dark night quietly, no way. He screamed like a stuck pig, which is what he actually was; stuck.
Eventually, the alcohol gravitated from his legs to his brain, and he quietened down into a resentful grunting, rather than porcine rage. The toe-cutters moved in.. tentatively.
With a nice new tenon saw the offending extremeties were pruned, and everyone retired back to the barbie and the booze.
We checked up on him occasionally, and, suddenly, we found he had moved back inside his shed. He was sobering up. Kiwi Leyah organised a bit of food for him, and he got into it with a wobbly gusto. Ate like a pig.
We made a little video of the trimming, which you can look at by clicking on the picture on the left.