Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Special Baby Pig

I awaited the news of the birth of the piglets at Bumpy Road Ranch as it they were being born here on Triple Creek Farm.  How many would she have and when would they come?  Everyday I checked on Facebook to see the progress.  And then there it was Charlotte had 9 piglets, she had needed some assistance with 2 of the babies.  I started to remember when there were baby pigs at Momma's and Daddy's farm.

I do not remember a lot of baby pigs being born.  A lot of years Momma and Daddy would buy baby pigs for another farmer.  Several years we had litters and how cute they were.  The walk from the house to the pig pen was a short work but the hog house was in the far corner of the lot.  For little legs the walk was quite a long one and uphill all the way.  The Momma hog was white with a few black spots.  The piglets were pink because they did not have a lot of hair and a few black spots.  They were nursing the first time I saw them.  They could have been puppies, kitties or pigs.  All lined up sucking on the proud momma.

Everyday Momma would take me to see the pigs.  At our farm we had hogs which were the grown pigs and pigs.  When Momma said, "Are you ready to go and see the pigs." I knew she meant we would go to the hog house and check on the babies.  She would make sure they were all okay.  Pick each one up and check the weigh.  She called me over and handed me the runt.  I thought this was going to be the pig's name but quickly learned it was the condition of the pig.  She would tell me which were boys and girls.  How did Momma know?.  She would pick it up and hold it close to her and say little boy or little girl.

One day she gave me the runt and said we going to take her to the house.  By this time the hog was not as protective of the little ones and it seemed she was pleased for the break.  This little girl was given a bottle with warm cow's milk with cream and she ate like a pig (no pun intended).  She became a pet as we would bring into the house every day.  Momma would wrap her in a blanket to feed her and she did not resist our handling her.

One day after she was fed a bottle Momma handed her to me and asked if I would like to put her in the baby carriage and take her for a ride.  "Yes, Yes, can I really do this?"   Momma had a plan.  She came out with a doll dress and hat, dressed the little pig and wrapped her in a blanket.  We took the baby carriage outside, placed Runt in the carriage and we went for a walk.  Momma knew how to fix the blanket so she could not get out and I played with the pig for quite a while.

When we took the pig to the hog lot I asked could I play with the runt another day and Momma's answer of "We will see" meant maybe.  I did play with her and her name became Runt, she was a favorite.  I could walk to the hog lot and as a small child say pig-pig-pig and Runt would come running.  Momma would let her out and she would go with me to pick up apples dropped from the tree for the animals.  She was a help because she was eating some of the apples I would have to pick up.

In the summer when the weather was hot.  We took buckets of water to the hog lot and they had holes we filled with water.  More than once I was caught with my feet in the pig hole and Runt rolling in the water.  If I was outside and Runt was in the hog lot there was a lot of snorting going on.  She was my playmate and wanted to be right beside me.

Maybe dressing this little pig in a frilly outfit was the best thing Momma could have done.  She was my best buddy for one summer.  I understood why we had animals especially pigs but why Runt?  Momma said, "Bootsie, next year there will be more baby pigs and you will have a new friend."  Yes, there were lots of baby pigs year after year but there was never another Runt.

When I saw the pictures of Charlotte and her little ones.  I thought how special it would be for my wee folk to dress a piglet and put it in the same carriage I played with Runt in.  For you see, I still have this carriage and until now I never knew why I could not let it go.  This is the only part of my true friendship with Runt I have left.

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