Friday's Weekend Column
"This Little Piggy Went To Market"
by James Glaser
No that is not a title about the election nor a political column. Yesterday was get the pigs to market day and as we have been out of bacon and sausage for a month, it is about time. 7 AM and I am down at Farmer Ron Mourer's farm and we drove off to get a stock trailer from the butcher and we were back ready to load in no time at all.
I looked at this years pigs and said that they looked a lot bigger than last year, really about twice as big. They are bigger this year about 400 to 450 pounds, but what the heck we are two former Marines and just how hard could it be to load six pigs? As it turned out real hard.
Ron had the pigs in a eight foot square pen and we backed up the trailer to the gate. We built a short ramp with plywood sides to keep the pigs in and we were ready to go. The pigs however were not.
Ron had quit feeding these porkers the day before and they were hungry. We took a bucket of grain, poured in a couple of beers, and held that to the one pigs snout. I swear that pig's eyes lit up with the smell of that beer and she followed me up that ramp into the trailer. How were we to know that the rest of these pigs were teetotalers?
I sent Ron into that pen, mostly because I am smarter than Ron and I was a Sergeant while he was a lowly Corporal and with former Marines that still counts. Also Ron is a lot stronger than me and heck, they were his pigs.
My pig the one who followed that beer bucket into the trailer would walk up and down that ramp, in and out of that trailer. One would think that the others would follow, but they looked at her like a traitor. Every ass was pointed toward that ramp and I told Ron to just turn them around and point them toward the trailer. I will say this for Ron, he is game for anything.
Here Ron is, in a eight by eight pen with a ton of hogs and trying to pull rank on all of them. He grabbed the biggest one by an ear and tail and with a incredible heave turned that pig around and then all hell broke loose. Pigs were screaming and running around (remember 8x8 pen) five pigs and Ron. He did get stepped on, somehow broke his finger, and one pig, head butted him in the stomach. I saved his life by telling him to retreat. Being just a Corporal, I had to tell him, he had enough. The noise he made after that head butt did startle those pigs and they got back in their ass to the trailer formation.
This wasn't working at all like we planned and we needed to get some help. We called Ron's 80 year old father in law, Dominic. Dominic had worked in slaughter houses his whole life and told us that all we had to do was put a bucket over the pigs head and we could back him up where ever we wanted. He lived just down the road and said he would be right over.
All the time we are waiting for Dominic "my pig" the good one is walking in and out of that trailer, Ron is resting and wondering if maybe a couple of beers wouldn't do him some good. Being the senior man I had to tell him that the beer would have to wait till he was off duty. Dom showed up and looked in better spirits that the two of us. He had the "pig bucket" and handed it to Ron. It was kind of like passing on the family silver. Dominic vaulted the fence to get to the other side of the pen, remember this guy is 80. Ron does not vault, but climbs back into the pen, hey, I could not see any reason that we should both be covered in pig shit and remember they are his pigs. Dom is talking to the pigs and decides which pig should be first and wouldn't you know he picks that really monster one. Ron looks at him and says are you sure that one would be best and Dom explains that pig is the leader and if he goes they all will.
Ron looks a little tentative, but the guy is game and he moves up to that pigs side and slides the bucket over his head. Nothing happens that pig just stands there with Ron bent over him holding on to the bucket handle. Dominic says "just pull back real slow and ease him into that chute. Ron looks at me and smiles with renewed confidence and starts to back up.
I have never seen a man fly so high in such a small place and it is just lucky he came down on two other pigs. Dominic was laughing so hard I thought he would have a heart attack. I was too. Ron was getting out of there by walking on pigs and jumping out. That was it for the day and next week I will tell you how we loaded those pigs - if we do.
Remember, my pig went right in there Ron, those other pigs were your pigs.
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