Thessler, Keeper of Pigs

Waking Up Food

Thessler, Keeper of Pigs

Thirty nine million two hundred and forty six thousand years before our story takes place, massive shifts in Plate Teutonic's wiped out the last vestiges of Earth's civilization. Long ago forgotten, no one alive knew about a planet called Earth, or the civilization that spawned their species and sent them on great ships out into cold, black space, after they destroyed their original host planet, leaving their once green and blue Eden black and brown, as dead as the sterile vacuum of space that replaced the sweet oxygen of the atmosphere.

The absence of life in the universe was almost expected during all the years of exploration, but discovering it was true was still a shock, that their planet really was a special place... that their little splash of life was all; how could the series of accidents repeat again? Not even in the infinite vastness, as far as they could tell from their forever travels.

Thessler, Keeper of Pigs, was not aware of any of this, and indeed would have considered the tale just so much pig shit... history at that moment was not helping him one bit and that was all that would have made this interesting to him. He had responsibilities, had to keep the pigs in line, make sure that they turned over their offerings every year.

His job was to negotiate with the upstart animals, of course; for all times from now until the then, pigs and horses and vegetables had been forced to give humans what they required to Sustain and Pursue The Happy, as had been written over a million years before, in the first recorded histories.

Humans knew that their ancestors had given the pigs and cows and goats and various vegetables and fruits their ability to reason to increase their ability to survive in hostile climates... being able to speak and tell their owners where they hurt or how they could be happier had seemed like the humane thing to do, though this was of course an after thought of the practical consideration of keeping their food alive as their species migrated out into the endless darkness of seemingly dead space.

Kessler watched the newsies on a wall size holo. Pigs throwing bombs, mostly. Piglets throwing stones. There was rioting in no less than seven cities down the coast. He could pretty much forget his quarterly bonus buying him a new summer house. The Cow's were going to be trouble again this year, too, he was just certain of that. The damn bovines were always trying to glom onto any contractual advantage that the pig's wheedled out of the humans—and the pigs were willing to send their children out to blow up over even small points of protocol, like where the damned water glasses were set during a particular state dinner.

As Keeper of The Pigs, his head was about to roll over this one. The pigs had been content for over 390,000 years. They knew their history, how the humans made them. Some of them now thought that their 'Bacon Tax' had been paid already. They were even threatening to go off into space by themselves, though they had no feasible way of doing so, without taking vegetibles and humans along to feed on.

Kessler also knew a bit about how poorly they were doing with the vegetables this year. Now they had only each other to prey on, in an endless cycle... the humans corpses went to feed the sentient plants, which then supported man and the animals that he fed upon.

As Kessler silently raged about the trials of his job, he was astounded to see, from his 345th floor apartment, a space ship, a gleaming silver behemoth, glide down from a blue sky and hover over the entire downtown area. He was no less surprised later that night, when the Newsies reported that the ships were manned by the descendants of an earth plant, the Strawberry. And when the lowly humans were marched onto ships to be the food supply for the strawberries, who it turns out were intergalactic pirates with no moral scruples about destroying anything that was not strawberry, he was surprised all the more... but, he sure was glad to be off the hook on the pig thing, and isn't that what it's all about at the end of the day, huh?

This is certainly how Thessler, Keeper of Pigs, lived happily ever after... well, that and the complete apathy of the strawberries toward killing humans— which they found distasteful if not out right immoral. The strawberries left the humans to live out their natural life spans relatively undisturbed, all in all, and no one really seemed to care too much, after a while, that they would be eaten after their long, comfortable lives.

science fiction
John Ridgway
John Ridgway
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John Ridgway

I have five published books, wrote for two small tv shows, hosted the comedy hit PEACE AND PIPEDREAMS, playing 14 comedy characters plus... on FEARLESS RADIO. I also consult for the intelligence community in various capacities.

See all posts by John Ridgway