“Why is he hitting it?” I asked myself as I watched from far as a young guy beat a pig. To its added misfortune, the animal had been condemned to live without seeing the sun in a thrown-together pen made of metal sheeting and rebar.
The crime the animal had attempted to commit (only attempted) was to breathe fresh air, relief from the stench of its own feces and rotting food. Perhaps its instinct told it: “Out there is something different from the darkness,” and it wanted to see the sky…the clouds.
But there appeared its owner to prevent that. A stick or something long and hard helped him. The blows resonated inside the premises as if he were playing a batá drum, and striking with the same force. With that pain-filled rhythm, and with the laments of the pig forming the melody, it occurred to no one to dance. Or did it?
To its side, a neighbor of the pig sympathized with it in silence. It was a dog that I’ve never seen, although I visited the building in front some months ago. The walls of its cell hide it from the light; I only know it from its howls of loneliness. I don’t know what size it is or what contagious disease they’re hiding by confining it.
Pens of roosters and hens, ducks and geese. Zoos or storage sheds with animals living under the most deplorable conditions. Likewise, wild birds put into small jails in the form of cages by youth who like to hunt.