Pink Pearls

     "In the Bahamas one learns how the simile of casting pearls before swine may have been a familiar image to our Lord's hearers in the far-off East. There the unclean beast was a forbidden animal, attended by lepers and outcasts, who no doubt flung the creatures any of the food they could get, shell-fish-also forbidden food for Jews-amongst the rest. In the Bahamas none but the negroes eat the native pork, which is fed on offal, refuse, and whatever can be obtained. The flesh of the conch is the usual fare for pigs in the out islands, where conches are plentiful. In these conches pink pearls are found from time to time, and I have seen a large pearl that had been found in the pig's trough, and which was scratched and discolored from having been champed by the pigs. Formerly, before pink pearls became an article of commerce in the Bahamas, and no search was made for them, it happened not infrequently that pearls were picked up in the hog pens. May not pearls from mussels or other shells have been found in a similar manner in Palestine, and thus have rendered the Saviour's warning easily comprehensible to his listeners, the great mass of whom were common people?"

July 6, 1888 EJW, SITI 416.9