In a clear indication of how behind the times our society is, pot belly pigs bear the weight of an unattainable standard. Really, it’s a double standard if you ask me. While most farmers spend years working on a respectable pot belly to drape over their belt buckle and show off at the sale barn, pot belly pigs can’t get a cloven hoof in the arena door. Try bringing a pot belly pig to the sale barn, and you’ll be laughed out of the unloading line.
I know the pain this causes because of an enlightening and thoroughly delightful conversation I had with an aspiring pot belly. I made its acquaintance quite by surprise, one day after work, on my daily “run” (in an effort to postpone the looming heart attack, I sometimes lift my feet repeatedly, in a pattern indicative of briskly shuffling penguin). My route takes me past the sale barn, up a tortuous hill, to a long dirt road that dissects a crop field. The field has a small patch of trees beside the road. On the day of my encounter with the pot belly, I noticed a truck with a gooseneck livestock trailer parked beside that clump of trees. “That’s strange,” I thought, “I wonder if they’re broke down.”
But no sooner than I thought that, the truck began moving, whipped the trailer around, and started barrelling toward me. I always give a little wave to oncoming vehicles, but the farmer didn’t even throw up the obligatory “how ya doing” index finger. He just kept boogying down the road, leaving me running in a cloud of dust. “Strange,” I thought.
A few minutes later, I made it to the trees where the farmer had been parked. Out of nowhere, I heard a voice, low and gruff with a thick Bronx accent:“Hey, you, can I get some directions?” I stopped running, looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Yeah, you, runner boy,” the voice said, “over here, down low.”
“Holy smokes!” I said, staring at a creature emerging from the woods. It was short and stout, with a low center of gravity.
“What? You never seen a pot belly pig before?”
“No, I mean, you, you’re a…” I stammered.
“You humans are all alike,” said the pig, with an offended grunt. It shook it’s stubby little snout in disappointment and then started sniffing the ground, stopping every so often to root around for some unseen delectable. I stood in awe, speechless until a few words finally welled up from my throat, “but, but, you’re a…”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m a pot belly pig, already covered that. You know those yahoos at the sale barn had never seen a pot belly pig either. They wouldn’t let me strut my stuff across the arena floor, and I got modeling offers from Versace and Tommy Hilfiger. Then that good for nothing, sorry excuse for a farmer just abandoned me out here in the middle of nowhere and didn’t even say goodbye.”
“No, I mean, I’ve raised lots of pigs before,” I said, “but you’re a talking pig. I mean, I’ve never talked to a pig before.”
“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” said the pig, “Imagine that–a farmer who has never talked to a pig before. Never thought I’d see the day. Now if you can quit yapping and point me in the direction of the Charlotte airport, this pig’s gotta catch a flight to New York City for a fashion show.”
I gave the pig directions. It turned and trotted off to Charlotte. Meanwhile, I started running the other way and wondered if I had just experienced the mysterious condition called a runner’s high.
6 thoughts on “When Pigs Fly and A Farmer Exercises”
You should traipse over the edge more often. I mean like this, really over the edge. Thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I usually get this way when my little whites are fresh from the pharm. It’s good to see a Sane person demonstrate this acuity. Makes me want to try again to impress upon Ward I should be allowed to control my own chemicals. Thanks for this delightful aside.
Thanks. This is just one of those pieces that arose from goofing around at the keyboard. Funny thing the first half is mostly true. I really did see a pot-belly pig while I was running once that a farmer had just abandoned because the sale barn wouldn’t take it. The idea for the talking pig just kind of came out nowhere, and once I made that leap, might as well make it a flying, talking pig.
I’d feel bad for the pig, but it seemed able to take care of itself.
Yeah, pigs raised in the Bronx are pretty self-reliant 😉
I really enjoyed this story!