Last night, my family and I had to load our pigs into the trailer. Yes, very soon, we will have a freezer full of hams, bacon, bratwursts, sausage, pork chops and ribs. Oh my! But, let me tell you how much we enjoy loading those pigs……okay, that was a joke just in case you didn’t catch it.
The evening everyone was anticipating, yet dreading had come. You see, we don’t have any chutes, just a hay bale maze to the trailer. Did it work? Let me share my little story with you.
I was taking care of my 3 year old, so my job was limited in what I could do to help, or so I thought. As my husband and four other children were rounding up the pigs and bringing them in the barn, my 3 year old son and I were waiting ever so patiently in the barn. My job was to be the gatekeeper. Just open the gate when the pigs get close and watch them walk through the hay bale maze, right up into the trailer. I had it made. I even had my camera…..
Wouldn’t you know it started pouring down rain when everyone was out there getting the pigs. I was feeling a little guilty, but I couldn’t let my three year old out there in the cold rain, so I stayed there, waiting. In comes one pig. We had a little trouble getting him to go through the gate. But, once the other ones came, all but one played follow the leader and they made their way, with a little prodding, up into the trailer to some feed. Nice. Now where was the other one?
This one didn’t like to be prodded. This one did not want to go through the gate with his buddies. This one had to be difficult. As I was standing there, ready to swing that gate open, I was watching my husband wrestling with the pig. I thought for sure one of them was going to have a heart attack!
So, the pig eventually went through the gate, now it had to make it’s way through the makeshift chute and into the trailer with his buddies and food. Big piggy changed his mind when he reached the trailer. He plowed through everyone one and my daughter somehow stopped him with her body to keep him from escaping through the bales. But, it was only a matter of time before he would have won. I rushed over there and grabbed it’s legs and yelled for my husband.
He ran over, jumped on the pig and was giving it his all to try and bring him to the trailer.
That’s when something snapped in my brain. I’d had it with this pig. My adrenaline was pumping now! So much for being gatekeeper and not getting dirty! My husband was wearing out, and I was ready to dive in. I grabbed his back legs and pulled with all of my might. I was actually dragging that 250 pound pig while my husband was holding on to it’s body. Then, my daughter rushed in to relieve me and grabbed one leg. We heaved, we pulled, we drug that pig all the way to the trailer. Then we lifted it up into the trailer with as much strength as we could muster. Of course, the pig was squealing and thrashing around which made it even harder. But, we did it.
Was it fun? No, as a matter of fact, not really. But, we all felt quite accomplished when we went inside. Was everyone all chipper and smiling during the loading process? Well, quite the opposite. There were some raised voices, some harsh tones and at some point some bad attitudes for all of us. But, when it was all over, we smiled at one another through gasping breaths, even gave some hugs and we could actually laugh at the dinner table that night.
That’s what it’s all about.