Thursday, March 13, 2014


Early in their marriage, my parents kept a pig under the barn. I never made its acquaintance, but I knew the space under the barn as "the pig-hole," and I must have been told in terms I believed that Little Girls Don't Go Into The Pig-Hole. To this day, I can hardly bring myself to venture under the barn (not that there's any reason to). I wish I could say the same for the colony of woodchucks presently in residence there.

To return to 1941 and the errant pig -- I don't know how it got out, but get out it did one fine day, and proceeded downstreet toward the more densely populated part of Otter River. Mother saw it leave and set out after it, armed with a bucket of potatoes that was supposed to lure it back to its home.

It showed no interest in the potatoes, opting instead to root up a lawn in the neighborhood. The lady of the house issued forth and belabored the pig with a broom. The pig paid no more attention to the broom than to the potatoes. The resulting turmoil eventually caught the eye of some guys in a passing truck, who stopped, captured the pig, loaded it into the truck, and delivered it, presumably, to its pig-hole.

Mother, at her earliest convenience, put her foot down on Dad's pig-keeping. The pig became ham and bacon, leaving only a memory and a hole under the barn where little girls weren't allowed.