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Talk about being around to experience a first, here’s a chance for you to do just that. After all, when was the last time you read anything written by a pig? That said, let me introduce myself. My name is Rascal. A name given me by a very nice human female named Ruby. I am a very fortunate pig to be adopted into Ruby’s family back when I was just the littlest of piglets.
I’ll be coming back to Ruby and our life together a bit later, but I need to take care of some housekeeping business before I can let go of this story. It’s not often that those of us who identify as pigs are willing to talk about our lives. In fact, I really can’t remember ever reading about us. Yes, I’m familiar with the story of the three little pigs, some pig on a TV show named Arnold, and several other stories told about us, but that’s the problem, they are about us, not told by us. So what you might ask?
Let me answer your question this way. What the reader gets in these stories about pigs are total lies. This is so unfair to us pigs. Many of these stories are not only untrue, but often they make fun of us. Now, if you were to ask one of these writers why they do this, they’ll react with a puzzled look, followed by their hemming and hawing as they try to answer.
While many of the sayings that humans use, like bringing home the bacon, doesn’t make a bit of sense to me. Then there’s that “one little piggy, two little piggy" toe counting tale. But, there’s one that really upsets all of us pigs. Many humans will freely toss it around as an expression of doubt, like “That’ll happen when...” It’s the when that really upsets us pigs. If you were to play fill-in-the-blank with this expression, it would be, “That’ll happen when pigs fly.” How insensitive, what do humans know what we pigs can or cannot do. In fact, I have seen with my own two eyes at least one or two pigs fly.
Why all the misunderstandings about we pigs? For me, the answer is very clear, these writers do not know their subject. If they did, the tales they told about us pigs would have been much different. What’s the real story? That’s what I’m going to tell you. Why me? Surely there must be other, more qualified pigs, who could tell it?
Well, a part of the truth is that yes, there are several other pigs who are as or more qualified than me, but these pigs have either been put out to pasture, meaning that they’ve been retired or, sadly, their best parts are sitting in someone’s refrigerator awaiting being served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
So why should you listen to me, a mere pig? What are my qualifications? For starters, in the pig world I’m already a slightly well known teller of pig stories. I know enough about the rules of using English to properly tell our story and believe it or not I also know more about pigs than all those human writers put together. Oh, and I almost forgot, I can be long winded.
Now, back to my human family. Earlier, I told you that as a young piglet a very important human named Ruby, took me in. I don’t remember ever knowing the circumstances of my adoption, but if it weren’t for that event I’m sure I would have been selected to join many of my relatives in the meat department of some supermarket. But I was rescued and missed being a part of someone’s meal time by the, pardon the pun, hair of my chinny chin chin.
I was with my birth family long enough to recognize that I was a pig. My birth family made sure that I took pride in my pig heritage. I have a memory or two about my birth mother. Memories clear enough to be able to recognize that there was no way Ruby could be my birth mother. Although I must say, I don’t remember a time when my being a piglet kept me from being a part of Ruby’s family.
My earliest memory of being a part of Ruby’s family was being taken in at her family home. If I hadn’t been a contentious piglet, I easily could have become very spoiled. I quickly learned that there were some things that I did as a piglet that were not things acceptable to my human family. My earliest challenge was learning how to be, hmmm what was that called? Oh yeah, I remember; housebroken. Fortunately, I was a quick learner, plus Ruby installed something called a doggie door that gave me access to my own private area, the outside. Again, confusion; why a doggie door? I still think a pig door sounds better. Oh well, these were some of the things that allowed me to stay in the house. Those were good days.
My earliest memories of being a part of Ruby’s household were a bit confusing. From the very beginning I knew that I was different from the other family members. At times it was really hard. There were some things about humans I never really understood, still don’t. The really weird part of my home life was when other humans would come to my home. It was during those times that I was usually laughed at, even teased. It seemed to me that these were humans who had never seen a pig living in a home.
Life seemed pretty good for this piglet. My only real problem was that I kept getting bigger every day. The more I grew, the more problems I created in the home. To borrow another human phrase, I was like a bull in a china store. I loved running through the house. Going from room to room looking for the other members of the family. Yes, I’d bump into things, but never on purpose. I just kept growing.
Eventually, I had to move from inside the home to a porch. This wasn’t too bad, just a bit lonely. I really tried to do my best. I secretly went on a diet, which, by the way didn’t work. I tried to be more sociable, but here again there weren’t too many humans that really understood my relationship with Ruby. Living on the porch only lasted a short time. As I continued to grow to something like 600 pounds I was shown my final living space. It was the yard.
For me the hardest thing was getting use to Ruby going off to work every day. I would stand in the yard and watch as she drove off. I tried to keep myself busy, but I quickly ran out of things to do. Each day that I saw Ruby leave for work I paid attention to what direction she went. After she was out of sight, I would walk the fence line looking for ways to get out so I could follow Ruby down the road.
This led to my proudest moment and as I would discover, my downfall. Through persistence and a bit of luck I found a way under the fence. It didn’t take me long to put my new-found freedom to use. As soon as I heard Ruby’s car start, I prepared myself to follow her. Getting under the fence and heading down the road chasing after Ruby was so exciting. As I followed her, I tried to make myself invisible by staying among the bushes. It was during these moments that I became more and more aware of my rather large size. It became obvious that my size made me really hard not to be seen.
Hard lessons are called that for a reason. As I quickly found out, they are hard. On my very first day on the road I was found out. Someone had become a snitch. There I was, causally strolling down the road minding my own business when someone claiming to be an official of some kind stopped me and without any notice, loaded me into a vehicle, and drove me home.
This ritual went on for two or three days until Ruby sat me down and lectured me as never before. Pointing her finger at my snout she made it very clear that my following her was a big no-no.
Being a bit stubborn, I let her words go in one ear and out the other. Big mistake. As I learned too late, Ruby’s message was for my own safety. Instead of listening, for some reason I continued to follow her.
I put her in a difficult position. She cared too much about me to just let me run loose. And so it was, with what I thought was a tear in her eye, Ruby put me in her car and began the longest trip of my life. Watching out the window, I had no problem figuring out that Ruby was heading into the country. Turning off the main road and onto a dirt road we traveled down a dusty, bumpy road to a farmhouse. As Ruby pulled into the driveway, another human directed us to an area of the farm, I saw a lot of different types of shelter. Some housed chickens, others had horses, cattle and other farm animals. Just past these houses was a rather large enclosure. Getting closer, I could smell a mixture of assorted odors, then I caught site of a fenced yard where the predominate feature was what looked like a pond of mud. In the yard were several other pigs.
With a bit of resistance and some muscular assistance, I reluctantly entered the pen. As I mingled with the other pigs, I was still confused about my destiny. It was at that moment that Ruby approached me for one last bit of advice.
Looking at Ruby’s face I could see redness around her eyes, “OK Rascal, I know this must be confusing to you, but I think you’ll like it here. You only have two jobs; to relax and build your own family. I want you to remember this, I love you.”
As time has gone by, I have never forgotten my times with Ruby. My life has been a good one. I was accepted into the pig world, in fact, by most I was even seen as some sort of celebrity. I’ve got a lot of friends, several sow friends, and with pride, several little ones. If you should ever run into Ruby, please tell her that Rascal is happy, thankful, and loves her.