This little piggy didn't make it home

Wild Appetite

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 07:45 30/01/2013
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Matt Rilkoff carries a pig out of the Uruti Valley on day two of his Wild Appetite adventure

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Against all expectations a pig is dead.

It grubbed its last fern at about 6.27 last night when Upclose Safaris guide Ray Potroz and I slid down a grassy slope to within 40 metres of it and took aim.

Like Ray had taught me I lined up the little black piggy in the cross hairs of the scope, let most of my breath out in a slow huff, thought about how it would look with an apple in its mouth and squeezed the trigger.

And missed. Fortunately Ray was able to shoot another little one that ran out in all the fuss. Thanks to him I didn't go home on the second day of a 12-day living off the land adventure without something to put in the pot.

"You asked for a pig and I got you a pig," said Ray, quite relieved.

The stinking hot weather, the rock hard ground and the fact I would struggle to hit a barn with a bullet made getting a pig extremely unlikely. Even a small, naive one.

"I feel a bit bad about being involved in the killing of something that just learned to walk," I thought about saying before I had a second thought about how good it would taste roasted.

Or slow cooked over hot coals while I lovingly baste it with some of the raw honey I picked up at BeesRus in the same Uruti Valley little piggy met its demise.

"Everyone thinks all honey is the same," said owner Stephen Black as he handed me a jar of honey. "But it's all different. It really is like wine."

Though that doesn't mean he's fussy about what goes on his toast, said his wife Fiona.

"Whatever he finds first in the cupboard," she said.

Having swapped their oil industry life in Aberdeen for a life in the country more than 10 years ago they have now built a sweet hobby into a livelihood.

"You do sometimes wish you had a regular wage," said Fiona. "But then you see people still in the nine to five and you remember how glad you are you are not doing that."

Today: Making cheese with Connie Bethell

Tomorrow: Kayak fishing with Herb Spannagl

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- Taranaki Daily News

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