Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Monster Pigs

by Pa Rock
Farmer in Spring

Yesterday my son and I had the opportunity to visit a little farm located in an extremely remote corner of "Howl" County.  The roads to the place were of the dirt and gravel variety, and had been left nearly impassable after all of our recent flooding, but through careful navigation we were eventually able to make it to the secluded rural property.

The residents, I'll call them Earl and Alice, were an older couple who appeared to make their entire living off of their small patch of land and the menagerie who shared the property with them.  Their house was a rusted-out old trailer, and there were also several weather-beaten out-buildings nearby - a goat barn, shed, and shelters of various descriptions.  There was a nice garden area fenced off to protect it from the hungry critters who also called the farm home.

The most unique feature of the place, however, was an extensive warren of cages and pens that housed a variety of unusual livestock and stretched across a large pasture area.  There were chickens, guineas, and turkeys running loose, as well as a corral that was home to several young colts and Shetland ponies, a burro, and a couple of cows.  Alice walked my son and I through the goat barn where we were greeted by a dozen frolicking young bucks and does, as well as several goat kids.  Alice handed me one young kid to hold while we talked.

As we were leaving the goat barn. Earl asked if we would like to see the hogs.  "Of course," I responded, because at some point in the near future I want to bring in a couple of hogs to seal the pond at The Roost.  A short distance later we came upon two penned pigs - a large black-and-white boar who had a pen and shack all to himself, and next door in a separate pen, the female:  the largest hog I have ever seen!   Earl said the sow, a Hampshire, weighed about eight hundred pounds.  Her body was the size of a cow, but rested on much shorter legs.  She looked as though she could have easily supported a saddle and an adult rider.  According to Earl, she had nineteen piglets in her  last litter.  While we were standing there admiring the monster sow, Alice pulled a chicken egg from her pocket and handed it to Earl.  He, in turn, gave it to the sow, and she happily swallowed the treat.

Later, as my son and I were driving away, I noticed the "Trump-Pence" sign attached to their rusty front gate.  Apparently the old couple's love of monster pigs did not end at the old sow's pen!

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