Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Pig, Little Pig, Won't You Come Home?

One of the fat boys has gone missing. I'm afraid he was pig napped while I was at Cow College. (Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write.)

In an attempt to know the provenance of the food my family eats, I got two pigs last summer. I didn't know anything about pigs, but my husband's family used to keep them. He said I needed a way to call them; you know "here piggy piggy" or "sooey." Channeling my inner Helen Bonham Carter, I decided to call them my fat boys. I'd walk out of the house every morning and call "Come here fat boys. Bring me my fat boys," and they would run to the fence to see what treats I had brought them. My fat boys love pancakes, and I can honestly tell you I was tempted to make some just for them rather than feeding them the boy's leftovers.

I loved my fat boys so much my husband said I would never eat them. I told him he was wrong, but I would cry while I did it. Pigs are charming animals. They are also pigs in the classic definition of the word. They climb over each other and anything else to eat, and they eat all the time. They can't be led with a can of food like the goats because they never raise their heads enough to see the can. They root in the ground for God knows what occasionally unearthing horse shoes and other oddities. They have torn up their pen with their digging and actually tunneled under the fence.

That is how the fat boys escaped. They tunneled under the fence while I was covering Cow College and went on a bender tearing up my husband's paths and stone walls looking for tasty bits. When I came home there was only one pig standing outside the pen waiting for me.

As much as I love my fat boys, they love each other more. I can't imagine one would have come home without the other if something hadn't happened. This is why I think he was pig napped.

The remaining pig lives alone now. He misses his buddy; I can tell. Before, the fat boys would retire for the evening as soon as it looked like it might get dark. Now my sole fat boy stays up past dark, I'm sure waiting for his buddy to come home.

He also has to carry all my production costs on his tasty shoulders. With only one pig left, my pork should finish at around $75 a pound. I am some kind of farmer.