Not All Who Wander are Lost

My main chore growing up had been the pigs. Weed the garden, scraps from the kitchen – take them to the pigs. Morning and evening, feed the pigs, carrying water buckets the length of the driveway. I had shoulders of steel. But when I moved back home after many years in Kentucky, I missed the chore, so I bought two shoats. I’m a good farmer and they quickly grew into a few hundred pounds. I arrived home from work one day, in my 3-inch heels and a dress, to an empty pen.  Standing in the driveway in the pouring rain. I yelled, “Hey pigs. Time to eat.” The two came racing down the road, grunt, grunt, grunt, with every footstep. They stopped at my feet, and I walked through the muck into the pen as they followed. My shoes ruined, but luckily, I saw the humor of it.

Seirah the Rottie watching her charges

A week later, the same event, but no pigs came running. I headed to my house to change clothes to go looking. I always left my side door open so my Rottie could come and go as she pleased. The two pigs had decided this was an open invitation and let themselves in. I had planned on replacing that carpet, but the piles of pig shit motivated me to get it done sooner. One pig lay on the dog bed by the TV and the other one lay on the cool floor of my bathroom. They had treated themselves to some of my oil paint, black and blue, then rinsed the taste from their mouths with sips from the toilet. The one in the bathroom had also rummaged through my laundry basket, leaving blue streaks on the side of the white basket that are still there to this day. With shoulders slumped and a weary head, the dog and I walked out the driveway, pigs at our heels, to let them back into their pen.

Is it weird to say that I miss having pigs?

Needless to say, that weekend, the pigs got a new wall on their pig house to cover their escape hole, and I ripped out the carpet and deep-cleaned the rest of the house.

The next year, I bought six shoats.

Author: creek2river

Cheryl Kula lives on a mountain in WV with her husband, Ted, and her two daughters. After years of assuming that her children would always have four legs, she is now a happy mother of two precocious daughters. Her first children's book is Play Day with Daddy.

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