Friday, November 30, 2012

This Little Piggy Didn't Want to Go to Market (Part 2)

Last time, I wrote about my potbellied pig, Iggy...but Iggy wasn't the only pig I've known and loved.

I spent my early childhood on a farm. We had horses, cows, chickens, and yes, pigs. Hogs, actually. Large hogs. Humongous hogs. Hogzillas...okay, not quite Hogzillas. But to a child, they were so big they could have been dinosaurs.



I remember the day one of them started chasing my pet chicken. I was screaming at it, using words my parents didn't realize their seven-year-old daughter knew until that moment. (Dad rescued my chicken, for anyone who's wondering.) 

I didn't know it at the time, but when the pigs on the farm abruptly disappeared, they didn't go off to new homes. They went to the slaughterhouse. I couldn't have dealt with that. My mom, who was midwife to most of the new births on the farm, could barely deal with it. She had to drive the young pigs there herself once. She told me as the pigs were herded into the pen, one of them ran back and looked up at her as if expecting her to save him.

She told Dad she would never make the delivery again.

Dad, in a perfect example of his warped sense of humor, named the four brood sows after Mom's four sisters: Bert, Bessie, Vi and Norma (yes, the hogs and I were both named after her). Oddly enough, the sows had the personalities of their namesakes. And now that I think about it, there was a physical resemblance as well....


4 comments:

  1. I love how sweet the little piglets look but they grow so fast.
    The story of your Mom with the little pig running back to her just breaks my heart.
    I seem to eat less and less meat now. When your daughter is a vegetarian you hear what goes on in the slaughter houses...
    I love this little peak into your life with pets.

    cheers, parsnip

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  2. I can understand why your Mum couldn't do it after that. My sister in law married a agriculturalist and they lived on a farm with pigs, chickens etc. he would just select a chicken for dinner and wring it's neck right there in front of her and their young children and then expect her to pluck it, needless to say they aren't married anymore..she is a writer too, a much more sensitive soul!

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