Perhaps my title should be "A farm is a wonderful place to raise a family," but, for current purposes, I will try to confine my ramblings to pigs--if I can.
These days, my farm has no livestock, but when my children were growing up, we had all sorts of critters running around the countryside--cattle, hogs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, guineas, geese, ducks.....
Actually, my husband would roll over in his grave, if I were to leave the impression that the larger animals--the cattle and hogs--were allowed to "run around the farm," so I'll modify that statement. He had no patience with livestock that could not be kept in fences, whether the fences were ours--or our neighbors...but that's a story for another day.
Most of the larger animals were not pets, but almost all of the small ones had names and were so tame that they followed us around on the farm. Eventually, many of them made pests of themselves, as such critters often do, when you expect too much of them.
Case in point--the pigs.
My husband had a pig operation, and it was my job to vaccinate the piglets and trim their tusks and tails. My son Todd, the oldest, thought the tails were so fascinating that he took them to school in a jar for "Show and Tell." I'm sure his first grade teacher was equally fascinated with this homespun science exhibit...
One year, we had three little orphan pigs that had no mothers. I don't remember the circumstances, but these little red pigs ended up at the house, where they ran freely around the yard with the dogs, getting into all sorts of mischief.
Lucy, the largest of the little red pigs, was the ringleader. Piglet, the smallest, followed Lucy everywhere, along with a third pig whose name I've forgotten.
Looking back, I wonder that our dogs tolerated the little porkers, but we obviously impressed upon them that there was absolutely nothing unusual about a yard full of pigs.
I don't remember how long the pigs inhabited my yard, but I do remember that their presence made for a very interesting Easter that year.
In those days, the kids and I boiled eggs and dyed them all sorts of bright colors. Then, on Easter morning, their dad and I hid the eggs all around the yard, and the kids hunted for them.
This particular Easter was a memorable one, as the kids and pigs raced around the yard, trying to beat each other to the eggs. Once Lucy and Piglet tasted their first egg, it was "Katy bar the door."
It didn't take long for the pigs to learn that those baskets were easy pickings. They followed behind Kristin, the youngest, slipping an egg out of her basket, as soon as she dropped one in.
I'm sorry, but I laughed so hard, I could hardly stand up!
Easter has never been the same since we got rid of our pigs...