Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This Little Piggy


When I was a little girl all farms had pigs. Grandpa had pigs.

Pigs were good for many things. Pork chops come to mind of course. And pigs are nature's garbage disposals. They ate all the scraps like potato peels, apple cores, and vegetable leaves. Leftover pancakes or oatmeal from breakfast went into the slop bucket too.

Every day someone would take the slop bucket out and pour it into the trough the pigs ate from. It was a good chore for visiting grandchildren.

The pigs also had grains to eat too. Even a big farm family did not have enough scraps to feed the pigs.

I was fascinated by pigs. The snuffling noises they make and of course the grunts and squeals.

Pigs "wallow" in the mud. We were never allowed to be in the pig pen. They are dangerous at times. But I discovered that one of the reasons the wallow is that the mud keeps them cool. So I would make my own mud puddle to wallow in on hot summer days.

When my children were small my husband bought a pig with the thought of raising it to be butchered. Naturally the children and I made it into a pet. We named her Hortense.

When it came time to butcher we refused to allow it. She lived a pampered life. Then we moved back to the big city. A neighbor took Hortense and promised not to end her life early.

Now they have farmers who raise pigs. By that I mean they build large pig barns and sell them to be butchered each fall. The pigs are kept inside so that they won't run off any of the fat. I have not seen a pig in the 6 years I have been back here.

That is until 2 days ago. I was driving to town. There is one farm that feeds the cows in a yard right by the highway. They have several white calves this year.

As I was driving by I saw a pig!

My son said it was a white calf but I know a pig when I see one. It had those little short legs and was skittering along in the pen with the cows.

I looked for it on my way back but did not see it. I am guessing that they are raising it to be butchered. It probably escaped its enclosure for a little run.

So I have finally seen my pig. I am content.

23 comments:

  1. Did wallowing in your own private mud puddle actually cool you off as a child? I'm quite taken by the sheer "cuteness" of that image in my mind. Children are so amazing.

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    1. It actually was cool. I was a strange child.

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  2. Glad that you saw a pig after 6 years, Emma. Yes, I did know about the reason they wallowed in mud and I was trying to conjure a mental image of your childhood mud-ling. Did your siblings join in the fun.

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    1. My siblings thought I was crazy. I think a couple of them joined me once or twice.

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  3. A nice contentment that is. Great thoughts and warm greetings.

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  4. Wallowing in your mud puddle would make a good story. lol

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    1. It was probably similar to a kiddie pool today.

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    2. One time my mom let us dig a hole as deep as we wanted in the backyard. I grew up in suburbia. We were digging a pool. When we went to fill the pool, all our water seeped into the ground. But we had a good time splashing until our mom found us. You can get worms from the soil here.

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    3. We use the worms we find when digging as bait for fishing. Digging your pool sounds like fun.

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  5. I can understand about Hortense becoming a pet. I heard about a couple who raised horses for a living. The husband wanted to keep one as a pet but the wife insisted they needed the money to maintain their business. I never found out what they wound up doing.

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    1. My grandfather loved horses and always had them. He also sold or traded them from time to time. Farmers are often a little more practical about their animals. But because of that to me all horses are pets.

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  6. My uncle trained a pig when he was young, and charged town kids to see it perform. He told me you only needed to sound like the slop bucket to teach the pig to count, etc. You sounded like the slop bucket by snapping your fingernails together, down by your side, where the fools weren't looking.

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    1. I wish I could have seen that. "They" say that pigs are very intelligent.

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  7. I love pigs, a friend used to farm them in Somerset when I was very young and I loved them. Have a good day, Diane

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    1. Pigs are social animals. They also kill and eat poisonous snakes. Handy.

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  8. Yep. Pigs will eat anything. We had pigs when we were kids at home but Jilda and I never owned one. I'm afraid, like you guys, we'd name it and that would be that.

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    1. Once you become friends with an animal it is a pet. I can't imagine eating a slice of ham named Porky.

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  9. The Noble Pig was one of the first blogs that I remember reading...just looked it up and it is still interesting!

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  10. that is interesting that either you raised a pig dear Emma!

    here i used to see them in woody park of islamabad but never found them in native village which sounds weird or may be our thick woody hill had wolves and foxes in abundance .

    i read many sweet stories in which a cute pig was main character .
    used to see shows and movies with my kids with pigs in .

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    1. I have raised or helped raise a lot of unusual pets. I may tell about them another time.

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  11. What a different rabbit hole you have.

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