Monday, January 14, 2008

The Pig Story

You really want to hear the pig story? There are actually a few different pig stories. The summer between ninth and tenth grades we moved and my parents bought a hobby farm. There may have been two acres, and we had chickens, 2 calves, bunnies, 2 goats, a half dozen pigs or so, and a big garden. Sound idyllic? It wasn't. It was a lot of dirty work. I remember entering a radio contest that summer about the best/worst thing about your summer. I wrote about how horrible it was to have blissfully lived in the suburbs and have your parents wrench you out of your comfort zone and make you shovel manure all summer. Yeah, I won the contest. The only thing was I didn't even know it! My friends back in our old town called me to tell me.

Anyway, back to the pigs. Pigs aren't bad creatures. If you keep their pens clean they don't smell bad. They don't poop where they eat. And piglets are just like little puppies - all they want to do is get close to you and play. In fact, we used to put our little miniature poodle in with the piglets and they used to chase each other around. When a sow is farrowing (giving birth), she is in a gestational cage so she doesn't harm the babies. She's half a ton, they are maybe a few pounds each. Unfortunately, some sows goes psycho after they give birth - they will stomp and rampage or eat their piglets and the sow has to be euthanized. This happened to us once and my Dad managed to save a single piglet from the litter. For the life of me I can't remember his name - Mom? Ter? Do either of you remember? But we brought this piglet into the house, bottle fed him cow formula, and my sisters and I treated him like a baby. It was one of those times after I had given him his bottle and he had fallen asleep that he peed all over me.

And yes, before anyone asks, we did eat him. That was one of the first lessons we learned - and perhaps a hard one considering my sisters and I were all teenagers when we came to live on the farm. Don't get attached to the animals because they are either food or a commodity. I think that perhaps because of this I tried being a vegetarian for a short time when I was 16. I lasted three months, McDonalds did me in.


Anonymous said...

The pigs name was loner


Nell said...

Loner the pig! How cute is that!?!?!?! I grew up on a farm too. It seems idyllic now, but I definite shoveled my share of poop and pull about a million weeds. It's a great experience to have though.

Shan said...

"It was one of those times after I had given him his bottle and he had fallen asleep that he peed all over me."

I don't remember that happening to Fern Arable.

My friend raised pigs once but she was so grief-stricken on slaughter day, not even ham-for-an-army was enough to console her. And that's saying something.

tara said...

great story. Loner...very cute.

Bezzie said...

Loner...hee hee!

Thanks for the story!

Beverly said...

That's why I could never have a farm--eating the animals. Reminds me of the farm my sister's high school boyfriend had. Two of the cows were named Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. Sis loved them. They were like pets. Then boyfriend's mom invited her to dinner one night. They had steak. From guess where? She couldn't eat. I wouldn't have been able to either.

Teri said...

Joey! I can't believe you forgot Loner's name!

I remember putting the leash on him and taking him for a walk :)

Life's a Stitch said...

My husband grew up on a little farm in MN. I think all the pigs had the same name, they were all Sally. I guess that's one way not to get too close to your eventual food.

Reading Beverly's comments reminded me of one of my daughter's teachers. He had two cows name Roasty and Beefy. No disguising their destiny.