EXT: EARLY MORNING. A PIGPEN NEXT TO A BARN, ON A FARM.
Jacob, a farmer, is leaning against the fence, talking to Carlton, the only pig in the pigpen. Jacob has a newly sharpened knife buckled around his leg.
Morning, Carlton. Knew you'd be up and out here. Like to watch the sunrise, you do. 'Fraid it's for the last time, though. You're m' last pig. Not 'cause you'll keep us for longer. That'd be Fred. Had pork chops for a whole winter offa him. Naw, saved you for last 'cause you're a smart one.
(Carlton comes to the fence and Jacob pokes his hand through the slats
to rub its snout. He softens a little.)
Wish it weren't this way, Carlton. Not to get sentimental or nothing, 'cause you will be de-lish-us, but you are a good pig. I wish natural causes gave us bacon half as good as the butchered kind. It sure don't, though. You're made up of a lot of meat, old friend. Well, 'bout 2/3 of you anyway. 'Course, that includes your feet, which Becky won't touch 'cause she says feet aren't for eating.
Wish I hadn't taught you that trick for turning on the light. Really helped me every morning. Kept me from tripping all over the other hogs. Nothin' left to trip over now, though. Just about every other animal ever lived here's been in my freezer or in my gut. Just a never-ending need for meat, Carlton.
Weird, innit, how every living being is just walkin' around trying to keep its meat fresh so that somethin' else can eat it? Well…'cept people. We just let ours wither up inside us and get all tough and then we die and it rots in the ground-just goes to waste. How funny is that, Carlton? Yours'll keep us for some weeks, though, I tell ya. After that, well…I'll figure somethin' out. Might have to start buying meat I haven't looked in the eye. Grocery garbage, but times bein' what they are…
Wish you were one of m' dogs, Carlton. Or Becky's useless cat that isn't even much of a mouser. I could let you sleep out back. Or right here, I s'pose. Lotsa room in this pen. Won't be much farm left soon enough, or farmer to keep it up.
(Sits down slowly, leans his head back against the pen, and turns
to look at the pig fondly)
We'll go pretty soon, Carlton. Just a minute, though. I want to sit for a spell just here 'n watch the sun come up.