How Festus the Pig Came to the Farm
I was in the pig business. That is, I had two young girl pigs (gilts) that wanted to be momma pigs. More accurately, I wanted them to be momma pigs. But we needed a father pig. This is a biological fact I learned in Animal Husbandry 101 my seventh year of college. This was definitely a problem. No father pig, (boar) was to be found or at least none anyone local wanted to part with. Most had already been offered employment or sent off to become breakfast bacon or Easter Ham.
So I mentioned it to my ex husband who would still, at that time, take up my causes occasionally and as good luck would have it, he knew a guy who knew a guy. Purely coincidentally the guy lived down in Henry County where a lot of old friends still attended the same watering hole they used to frequent when we lived down there. It was mutually understood that he would have to make first contact at this location therefore it might take some time. I had learned this lesson well during our marriage.
Even so I was grateful and looked eagerly forward to the arrival of such an important addition to my pig business. Well, I kept eagerly looking forward and by the third day my eyes were beginning to dim up from looking forward so much and my temper was fraying.
Gretchen and Gertrude, the pig girls, were alternately running in nervous piggy circles and listlessly slumping by the barn door. They needed a fella!
As some girls longed for jewelry or great clothes I pined for that hog. As some girls would pout and sniff over a missing birthday gift I was furious over the non-existent pig companion. But at last, one crisp morning four days later, my ex's old pick-up rattled into the yard. He was only slightly more disheveled than usual and his beard hadn't grown too badly but it was still pretty obvious to the educated eye that he had had a good time reminiscing with all his old friends.
I ran straight to the back of the pick up and there he was. My great white hope, the expected progenitor of my great pig venture, lay stretched out the width of the truck bed. He was young and perfectly proportioned with sleek sides and good length. His skin glowed pinkly in the morning sun. His rump was plump..his back was broad..in short, he was a beauty.
But he wouldn't get up! No, he COULDN'T get up! He tried. He got his front part up. He got his front part up several times only to drop back. I got a pan of corn to coax him. He tried harder. Surely my ex would not have bought a sick pig!
"Well, no," my ex explained, "It was probably something he ate at the barbecue." "What barbecue?" I shrieked.
Well it seems that the watering hole friends had moved the party to somebody's house in honor of my ex's visit and the pig had survived for three days on left-over barbecue and the remains of a keg of beer.
The pig was drunk!
I named him Festus because of the limp and stagger thing that afflicted him for a few days but when he sobered up sufficiently he made the piggy girls very happy.