the good, the bad, and the pigly

The last thing I wanted to hear this morning, was, "You need to feed the pigs." Especially since I was barely awake, and almost mistook the ringing phone for my alarm. I tried to hit snooze more than once before picking up the call.

"What do you mean I have to feed the pigs? I told you I was never going in there again." And I did say that. More than once. Especially after last week, when I fell into the chicken pen (occupational hazard around here) and the pigs went nuts, oinking and grunting their displeasure that I'd fallen where they couldn't reach me. I don't need to speak Pig Latin (or Pig English for that matter) to know they were wishing I'd fallen in their pen. "No way," I said. "I'm not doing it." I shook my head hard enough to fully wake up.

"You have to." The finality in his voice told me all I needed to know. He'd planned this. He was too far away to do it himself, and he knew my soft spot for hungry animals wouldn't allow me to let them starve. I was screwed.

"'s been nice knowing you," I tossed out. "If you don't hear from me by dinnertime, just consider me pig food."

I didn't need to see his face to know he was rolling his eyes at me. For some strange reason he thinks I've exaggerated my relationship with the pigs. I haven't. They have it in for me. I'm fairly certain they have an unhealthy obsession with me, and I was about to willing step into their territory. That's like swimming in shark infested waters. Or dancing around the African Savanna calling out, "Here kitty, kitty!" There are more people killed each year by pigs than by sharks and lions combined (I'm guessing on the figures, I didn't actually look this up, but I'm pretty sure it's true)

Resigned to my fate, I pulled on my sturdiest jeans and farm boots and filled a bucket with pig food. The minute I stepped out the backdoor they started taunting me. Like I said, I don't speak pig, but I can only compare it to walking by a construction site in a short skirt. The things they were saying made me feel like I was nothing but a piece

I crossed the yard, inching my way to my own doom, until there we were...staring each other down. Me versus 5 growing pigs. I spoke first. "Pigs. We meet again." They oinked in response, their flat noses pointed to the sky, drawing in my scent as I stepped closer to the electrified fence. I distinctively heard the haunting theme to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" playing in the background as I approached, food bucket clutched in my hands.

"Listen up, pigs. I'm going to feed you but you'd better keep your snouts to yourselves. I'm no snack. You hear me?"

Their grunts grew more frantic the closer I got. I knew they were excited to see me. They had these sick little smiles on their faces. But I had an ace in the hole, and I reached into the bucket to pull it out.

"Waffles!" I yelled as I started flinging left-over waffles from yesterday's breakfast into the pen. I tossed them as far away as I could, and just like I'd planned, the pigs went running for the sweet treats. I took that opportunity to hop over the fence and ran straight for the feeding trough.

Unfortunately for me, the pigs move faster than I do, and two of them beat me there. They grabbed for the bucket, stuffing their fat heads into the feed before I could pour it into the feeder. There were were, wrestling for control of the bucket. Me screaming obscenities as the other piggies jumped into the fray. It was an all out brawl as they nipped and prodded me to drop the bucket.

I finally turned it over, dumping the food over their heads, half into the feeder, half on the ground. The minute the food was dispersed, the pigs left me alone. There was even a short moment of peace as I patted their chubby (yet remarkably solid) bodies while they devoured their new favorite feed...something that was decidedly not me.

Hey, don't look so surprised...I took on the pigs and came out alive. All in all, not a bad day on the farm for the girl who could destroy the inside of a marble. 

Until the next time...I'll be leaving the feeding to someone more capable.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on March 16, 2013 .