Well you guys, we did it. We sold the pig. I know, I know, I swore up and down that we were determined to eat this pig… raising a hog for butcher is what homesteaders do, right? Believe me, we were dead set on doing it. And then this completely unexpected and totally inconvenient conviction hit us, and no matter how much we tried to rationalize, we couldn’t let it go.
I’ve been procrastinating writing about this conviction, simply because it will take a long time to type out. In short, we have decided to stick to eating a Biblical diet; no pork, no rabbit (which totally stinks ’cause we just bred our bunny for that very purpose!), no shrimp, etc. Not because we feel it is a salvation issue, nor do we feel held to Old Testament laws. For us, it is nothing more than understanding that God gave us these warnings for our own good, and science has since proven them to be substantial. Pork is bad for you, period. And with my husband’s family’s horrible heart health problems, we want to eat as healthy as we can.
At first, I tried to rationalize, “Dang! We’ve spent almost an entire year fattening her up! Can’t we just put her in the freezer, and then not buy any more pork when ours is gone?” But no, Jerry was done. He was not going to eat pork any more. So, had to support him, and respect that. I do want him to be healthy, and live a long life. Anyway, that’s that in a nut shell.
So, I put Ms. Porkchop on Craigslist and within a day we had several calls. I listed her for $200 at a little over 200 lbs. A really nice guy called and asked if we’d take $160 for her (which we probably too quickly accepted), and we scheduled a time for him to come and check her out. The next day, he drove the hour long drive, hauling a horse trailer behind his truck, ready to get our pig. Really, we were very excited to be getting rid of her. She has been HORRIBLE to try to keep in her pen!
The weekend before, we’d had company over for dinner, and the pig had escaped while we were eating. Of course, it was raining too. Jerry had to go outside and herd the pig away from the cars while our poor friends ran for their lives from our back door to their car. Funny? Very! Well, for me and the kids who were watching safely from inside it was. Not so funny to Jerry though. Needless to say, we’ve been done with the pig for a while.
So, this man, we’ll call him Mike, he was concerned about how hard it was going to be to get Ms. Porkchop into the trailer. I have read horror story after horror story of the difficulties of getting a pig onto a trailer. Mike told us he’d spent three hours the day before trying to herd up another pig he’d purchased. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but knowing how tame our pig is, I thought for sure all we had to do was put some food into the trailer and she’d walk right in. We filled a bucket with spoiled produce from a local market, backed Mike’s trailer up to the gate of the pig pen, and let her loose.
Mike had brought with him a shock stick to zap her with if she caused any trouble. I asked him not to use it, remembering the time we’d tried an electric fence on her and she got zapped and ran off to hide in the woods for days. I warned that we’d lose her for sure if he shocked her. He couldn’t believe it when she walked just as nicely as you please into the trailer, and began chowing down on the food. They shut the trailer doors behind her, and Mike looked at us incredulously. I was glad it had gone as easily as I’d expected. For once in the pig’s life!
Our new friend commented on how long the pig’s legs were. He said he’d never seen a pig that tall before. Maybe this explains how she is so good at escaping her pen?? He asked me what breed of pig she is. I told him I’d asked the man we’d bought her from, but the poor old man was missing teeth and had such a thick accent I couldn’t tell what he’d said!
Mike was kind enough to help my husband with a truck problem, having a lot of experience with mechanics, and then he was on his way. Me, Jerry, and the kids all stood in the driveway waving goodbye as Porkchop headed down the hill and away from our home forever.
We danced a little jig and sang a little song as she drove out of site.
The next day Mike called us. “You won’t believe this,” were the first words out of his mouth. “Uh-oh,” I responded! I could only imagine what he was about to tell me. “This pig jumped clear over the fence I’d put her in yesterday!” I had to laugh as he went on, “I went out to feed the animals, and here comes that pig running right up behind me! She was after the dog’s food! I had to throw it to her to keep her back!” He said none of his friends would believe that she’d jumped over the 4 ft. lot she was in. Of course, I could sympathize. He explained that he had to build the fence up to his shoulders to keep her in.
Poor guy. He had no idea what he was getting, did he? He has now affectionately renamed her “Hopper”.
He messaged me the following day to let me know that he has decided to keep her on his farm for a while. He thinks she’ll be a good Mama pig. She is in good company too, with almost 20 other hogs, cows, and other animals. I think she’ll enjoy her new life there. And, I have to admit, I was a little happy to hear that she would be spared the slaughter house for a little longer. What can I say? That pig’s got personality.