Back in the early spring of this year, my aunt and uncle (who live across the street from me) were given two newborn piglets. A mother razorback was caught in a trap and gave birth as she died. They were sickly and had a hard time thriving in a backyard, as opposed to the open woods with their mother. One of the piglets did not make it, but Porky was a fighter from the very start. They almost lost him as he was not digesting the milk well, but I came up with the suggestion of adding baby cereal to it. It worked, and he started getting healthier.
And started to grow.
Happy Easter, little pig!
I watched him make friends.
Porky & Dottie (a chihuahua)
My aunt and uncle both went out of town for separate jobs over the summer, so his care was left to my cousins and I. Since I was staying at their house while they were gone, I spent a lot of time out back with the Porkman. He loved scraps, and I loved spoiling him rotten. One of his favorite things was being chased in the back with a waterhose. He would pretend to want to run away, but would have to turn around to rush through the spray.
He also loved him some Cheesy Poofs.
Not lame at all, buddy.
After a while, I was the only one who would spend any length of time in the pen with him. He got extremely large very quickly, and had no qualms in knocking someone over in attempted play. He and I always had a bit of an understanding - if he didn't knock me over, I'd sit on his back and scratch his ears while he ate.
He always glad to see me. As soon as Porky heard me walk outside in the mornings or get out of the car after my evening at work, he would squeal as loud as possible so I would remember that he was back there.
Porky crying for my attention & meeting Lila
Last night, my grandmother told me that my uncle was finally going to have to take care of Porky. By take care of, I mean slaughter. The neighbors were complaining about his size and odor, and he was starting to grow tusks. We contacted several local petting zoos, and some that were out of state. We also contacted some regular zoos to see if anyone would take him. No one was interested. They couldn't get him in the trailer to take him to his destiny, so they wanted me to try. He trusts me, and I couldn't bring myself to put my heart into coaxing him to his death by telling him that "it was alright". I did get to say goodbye, and that meant a lot. Here are some pictures from last night:
I was told to not get in the pen with him so I wouldn't get my work clothes dirty, but how could I resist some last piggy kisses?
Giving me piggy love
He was granted an Eleventh Hour reprieve last night because he knocked my uncle on his ass when he tried to drag him into the trailer. My Porkman is a smart boy and knew that there was nothing for him in the cage.
When I came home tonight, my daughter wanted to know if I was going to go feed my "Porky baby" (yes, I told her that he was my baby, too. All of my animals are.) some apples. My grandmother overheard a snatch of our conversation and mouthed to me across the dinner table that Porky was no longer with us. I had to hide my tears from Bug as we ate. I'm not sure how I'm going to tell her yet, or even if I will at all, since we've experienced so much loss in the past year. I do know that I will not be able to eat meat for a while as I mourn him. I can promise you that I will not eat a bite of him. I understand the beauty of raising your own food, but I'll go to the grocery store before I eat my friend.