Runaway Pig


Rosedale GardenGrowing up in the country as the first child without any neighbors nearby, you tend to make friends with the farm animals. I guess to this day animals like me. Dixie the filly next door has a fit if I don’t stop and pet her while I’m mowing the lower 40. Patches and Dixie have had a love/hate relationship since the filly was born and running around the pasture kicking up her heels.


Dixie and Patches 0972

One of my friends was “Pig.” He was a Yorkshire orphan, and Mom raised him on the bottle keeping him in a box on the back screen porch. In our old house, which was built during the 1840s when outhouses were the norm, part of the back porch was made into a bathroom. It was the only one for eight members of my family. In order to get to the bathroom, you had to go out on the screen porch. In the winter time you had to make a mad dash out to it and even a madder dash back inside the house after taking a bath in a cold cast-iron tub. The only heat was a small space heater that sat on the back of the toilet tank. Needless to say it didn’t do a great job heating up that ole cast-iron bottom.

Pig after a while got to thinking that Mom was his mom and whenever she tried to sneak out to the bathroom he would start squealing, wanting his bottle. No matter how hard she tried to sneak out in the darkness, he would grunt and then start crying for his bottle.

Soon, but not soon enough for Mom, he got too large for the box and was delegated out to the yard with the other critters. Once in the yard, he was my buddy. Back then there wasn’t a fence to keep all the animals out of the backyard. Pig would come to the door each morning grunting for me. Mom would tell me that my buddy was calling. Off we would go with my arm around his neck to a clump of shade trees. If Shep our farm collie wasn’t helping down at the milk barn, he would join us.

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