The Tragic Tale of Two Little Pigs (and a Couple of Not-So-Little Ones)

L to R: Nameless runt (the pig, not me), Me (3), Dad (23) (October 1980)

By the autumn of 1980 we had fully moved into our new place of residence. It was a bit lonely in the woods, so, we did what any reasonable family would do, we got some pigs.

Our first pig was a nameless runt. He was nameless because he ran away an hour after we got him. However, we didn’t let this minor setback phase us, and we soon found ourselves with three pigs, Jake, Matilda, and Igor. Like any kid with pigs, I tried my hand at riding them; I’m told I didn’t have much luck.

L to R: Jake, Igor, Matilda (December 1980)

Through the winter, Jake and Matilda grew to around 230 pounds each. Poor little Igor, however, had a bum leg and got sick, so, he got shot. (I told you this was a tragic tale.)

In the spring, Jake was sold to market. My dad and Grandpa Smith (who seems more in his element here than he does in any other photo I have of him) then made short work of Matilda.

L to R: Matilda, Grandpa Smith (55), Dad (23) (April 1981)

I don’t remember how I felt about our “pet” pigs being shot, sold, and butchered. I do know that my mom, who had grown up in town where she never met the food she ate, was a little uneasy about eating an animal she’d known on a first name basis. My dad, however, said that Matilda was some of the best barbecue he’d ever eaten.


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