Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Little Piggy Went to Market...

Let's all take a great big sigh of relief, shall we?

Today, three little piggies went to market, and I couldn't be happier.   For one, three pigs were still alive long enough to make it to market.  Constantly worrying that at any moment a pig could either be killing himself or be getting killed by a coyote is completely exhausting.  Secondly, feeding those pigs in the morning was really cramping my style and making mornings way too busy.  Can't wait until after the sun comes up in order to feed the pigs, because there won't be time to shower and do my hair before we leave for school.  Don't want to shower before I feed the pigs, because there is always a good chance I will be covered in mud when I return from the pen. 

But those days are over.  I'm down to only feeding six kids and myself in the morning.  And while there is a good chance I'll be covered in food by the end, it won't require me to reshower.

People always ask how we get the pigs from our pen to the butcher, so I'm sure there are many of you wondering the same thing.  So, here you have "How Two Fake Farmers and Two Legit Farmers Catch Three Pigs".

First, Legit Farmer #1 backs the tractor up to the barn door.  This gives us a few inches through which we must squeeze these animals.  Legit Farmer#1 sits on the tractor while Hubby and I get started.  Our first attempt is to cross our fingers and try to do it the easy way.

Note:  Unfortunately, Buttercup was already dressed for school.  In addition there just wasn't room in the barn for a photographer.  So, I drew some illustrations for you.  In case you don't recognize us, blue is me, green is Hubby or legit farmers, and pink is the pig.

I managed to get that pig all the way up to the tractor door by tempting him with that one apple.  Unfortunately, none of the men saw this as an opportunity to jump in and finish the job.  Sometimes I wish this didn't have to be a child- friendly blog.  Really I do.  So many jokes.  Oh so many  inappropriate jokes.

When that attempt failed, we got serious.  Basically, we ran around the barn, chasing the pigs, who simply turned, came towards us, and blew right by.  See, each pig is at least 120 pounds heavier than any human in that barn, and unlike the dog, a pig is quite difficult to tackle.  They are slippery little buggers.

When it was obvious to all that Hubby and I were failing miserably, the Legit Farmers came in to help.  We managed to get the biggest one over to the tractor, and it looked like we finally had him.  That is until the pig turned, ran past Legit Farmer #1, came right at me, and ducked right between my legs.

Keep in mind that this pig is over 300 pounds when I tell you that... I got stuck on top of it.  As the pig raced through the barn, all I could do is pray that he didn't try to bust through that fence you see there, where my head would surely have gotten torn off at the neck.  I finally managed to fall off the pig without being killed or injured, however my pride was taken down yet another notch.

I know.  The unspoken jokes are killing you.  Hubby saved them up all day, and as soon as the kids went to bed he began a little game he called, "How many jokes can I do in 20 seconds?"  He came up with 13, and not one is appropriate for a child-friendly blog.  Such a shame.  Because they are hysterical, despite the fact they are all at my expense.
Things really got serious after that.

Hubby and Legit Farmer #2 grabbed some weapons.

Calm down. They only grabbed some gates.

our weapons of choice

The pig fought like his life depended on it, but between the four of us, we finally managed to get that stubborn pig up to the tractor pen.  Unfortunately, that's as far as the men could get.  I was in the back, holding the barn door closed.  The pig kept burying his snout in the crack between the tractor pen and the barn door.  For five minutes, Hubby slapped at the pig's leg, Legit Farmer #1 pulled up on it's tail, and Legit Farmer #2 tried pushing it from the side. 

My motto is "If it ain't working, do something different."  So I told them to stay put.  I'd take care of this.  That's the exact moment that the pig pooped all over Legit Farmer #1's pants.  His only response was, "Guess I should have left my old pants on."  Apparently he chose to wear his good jeans.  Silly, optimistic man.  After all of these years, he should really know better.

So, I left the men standing there, exhausting themselves while doing absolutely nothing.

The only exit from the barn, since the pig and three men were blocking the door, was to climb through the skinny little space between the hastily erected fence and the barn roof. 

At 10:00 last night, in the pitch-black dark, after the pigs had gone to bed, Hubby and I used our powers of stealth to sneak down and put the fence up in order to keep the pigs in the barn for the morning festivities.  This is how fake farmers operate:

Bungie cords, people.  Six of them.  An impenetrable wall, I tell you.  For a pig.  Not so for an ingenious fake farmer.

Anyway, I climbed through that little space, walked through poo and mud, climbed the fence to get out of the pen, and climbed into the tractor pen. 

I took control of the situation.  I grabbed the bull by the horns. 

OK, so they didn't actually tell me, "Nice work," but they totally should have.

Literally?  I grabbed the pig by the ears.  I had learned from the "Great Pig Drowning" that a pig's ears are handy little things.  So, I grabbed it's ears, tugged it out of it's hiding place, and got it pointed in the right direction.  Then, it was a simple matter of tempting him with another apple to get him all the way into the pen. 

Once you get the leader of the pack, the others fall in line.  Within minutes we had all three pigs in the tractor pen, ready to go.

Each year, Hubby and I discuss the fact that I don't command much respect from Legit Farmers.  It seemed that to those old school farmers, I was the city girl, the wife, who had no business being out with the animals.

This year, I think I might have broken through.  I might have earned some respect.  If it weren't for the fact that I rode a pig, backwards no less, I might even be considered one of the guys.

As a little side note, Legit Farmer #1 was surprised to see that we only had three pigs.  When we told him that one had drowned itself, Legit Farmer #2 spoke up.  He said that when he bought the farm he now owns, he was told that one year the previous owner had 30 pigs drown themselves all in one night.  He has a great big cement horse trough that had filled with rain water.  The pigs got thirsty, (remember, when the leader does something all follow) went to the horse trough, and got stuck.  All drowned.  Can you even imagine??  Makes my dead pig wrangling look quite unblogworthy, doesn't it?

So, another year of pig-raising has come and gone.  Another year of good eating is to come.

And I have the bruises and sore muscles to prove it.

Have a lovely day!


  1. You rode a pig backwards. You rode. A pig. Backwards!!!

    That is the most awesome thing I've heard all week!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, I think. Maybe you just had a slow week?

  2. oh I am laughing so hard right now!!!! please, please, please next year set up a video camera so we can watch or better yet keep Buttercup home so she can take pictures. This is the best ever!

    1. It's one thing to write about my foolishness, or even post still shots. A video may be too much embarrassment even for me. We'll see. Glad you got a good chuckle out of it at least.

  3. This really had me in complete stitches!! Isn't farm life wonderful??? Isn't being married to a farmer wonderful??....RRrrrr, I totally understand the jokes thing - they can be ruthless can't they?? Hang in there, my friend, you are awesome!!

  4. Thank you, Susan! I love it when farmers read and know from where I come. And yes, the joke-tellers are ruthless.

  5. Okay, I am not supposed to laugh at the expense of others. But this gave me a laugh. The best part? The hand-drawn pictures. You need to have them printed out and framed. Have a great week!

    1. I'm glad you could get a laugh out of it. It gives meaning to my "Why exactly is this happening?" The picures are a result of my complete lack of computer savvy. I couldn't figure out how to put a clip-art pig in the photo, so I drew them in with the mouse. I just may have to print them. Hang them in dining room. A little reminder for my children of the lengths their mother will go to to feed them.

  6. Brilliant story! I have the image of you riding the pig backwards firmly in my head now and can't stop giggling!

    1. I still laugh thinking about it. Don't be ashamed or feel guilty! :)

  7. You are a brave, brave woman. I've dealt with cows, horses, geese, goats, chickens, but never pigs. My great uncle was a hog farmer and after the stories my dad told of working there in the summers, I'd never own a pig. Hats off to ya! :)

    Thank you for linking up with the Humor Me! Blog Hop!!!


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