Sitting right there on my massive cutting board, tail erect, snout truffle-ready, ears extended, is not a marble pig or a soapstone pig or a pig made out of untinted peppermint candy.
What you see there on my cutting board is a cheese pig. Yes, that's right, a pig made out of cheese.
I came to have a cheese pig because my daughter, travelling in Rome with her father, knows that I prefer cheese to just about anything, that I think pigs are among the more adorable creatures in the animal kingdom and that if she wore all her clothes and put all of her travelling souvenirs, among which was said pig, in her suitcase, she could avoid the hefty Ryanair surcharge for extra weight and bring that pig (and a host of other treats) home to me.
It's an interesting phenomenon when we make edible things look like animate or inanimate objects in order to eat them. One thinks of the various erotic bakeries and their tasty, anatomically-correct cakes or the astounding candy and gingerbread houses that pop up like McMansions around the holiday season.
When I was in seminary I took it into my head to go all Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson/“Ebony and Ivory” inclusive and make cookies using dark brown dough and a lighter dough. I thought that a hand cookie cutter and a foot cookie cutter would be, I don’t know, politically correct and humanitarian. But after hours of rolling and baking and a few glasses of Chardonnay, I looked down and saw a table of disembodied hands and feet. It looked barbaric. I felt like Mr. Kurtz.
But my cheese pig is in a class by itself. I've given some thought to naming him. (Wilbur, maybe?) And I've given some thought to eating him. Either way, I will treasure him.