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To Nancy and then Marie

Posted by Dorothy on 11/21/03 at 19:14 (138305)

I am slow lately so please forgive.

Nancy ~ I join those others who are wishing and hoping for your father's strong recovery and for you and your family to have peace of mind from that. As someone else said, it is so very difficult to have our parents go through these things, and the added worry of 'what now? what next?' in terms of potential changes in residential needs and all that entails. We're hoping he and you have an improving weekend.

Marie ~ I meant to say so at the time, but your story made me laugh - and thanks for that. I happen to be a major fan of 'Babe' and if you haven't seen it, you might enjoy it. It's delightful.

Re: To Nancy and then Marie

marie on 11/21/03 at 19:28 (138308)

Thanks Dorothy. We have all been a bit concerned for nancy's father. I know she will appreciate your kind words.

best wishes marie

Re: To Nancy and then Marie

nancy s. on 11/21/03 at 19:47 (138309)

i do appreciate your kind words, dorothy -- thanks for your thoughtfulness.

'babe' is a favorite of mine too. i have it and watch it at least once a year. always loved pigs. if my cats wouldn't die of little heart attacks, i'd get one to join the household.

nancy
.

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/22/03 at 06:10 (138329)

At the edge the village I go to in Crete, there is a little gate through which you leave the village to begin climbing the path up the hill to the Venetian-Turkish castle, from where you can then set off for - wherever you've decided to walk to that day. The path itself is beautiful, with ancient (2,000-years-old) olive trees on either side. Just after the gate is a clearing, where a donkey has always lived in the past.

Well, early in October, as I was setting out for my first walk, I heard a peculiar snuffling noise. I was intrigued: it didn't sound like a donkey. A few steps later I reached the clearing and there saw - a huge pig! By huge I mean bigger than a large sheep and as big as a small cow. It was such a surprise! I stopped and spoke to it, and after that, figuring that she (for it was a she) was lonely and needed company (pigs are sociable animals) I stopped and spoke to her every day (except when she was asleep, which she usually was early in the morning). She seemed to appreciate this, and (when awake) stepped forward to greet me and snuffle and grunt a few times.

Although she was out in the open, with plenty of room to move around, she was chained up, and so not free, as we know pigs must be. But I wouldn't have dared to release her. She seemed friendly enough, but she was - too big, and who knows?

Re: For those who love Pigs

Suzanne D. on 11/22/03 at 07:53 (138331)

Julie, your post made me think of the children's classic, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I've written this before, but it is my favorite book! I read it to my children each spring. The vocabulary is so rich and the story so engaging...

I remember going to my grandparents' farm when I was a little girl and seeing some very young pigs escape from under the boards of a fence. My youngest uncle (8 years older than me and my 'hero' at the time) was frantically trying to run and catch them, but they were too fast and slippery.

Sometimes county fairs have contests in which a greased pig must be caught. That always makes me think of my uncle on that visit.

Suzanne :)

Re: For those who love Pigs

nancy s. on 11/22/03 at 08:02 (138334)

love these pig stories, julie and suzanne.

my own favorite pig encounter took place when i used to run antique sales out of our barn. during one sale, i looked out and saw THE most gigantic r.v. i've ever seen in my life backing into our driveway -- not easy, since the vehicle was about twice as wide as the driveway.

the r.v. contained a middle-aged couple who loved antiques, plus the man's sister, who also loved antiques, plus a vietnamese potbellied pig named 'sunshine.' they were driving all over the country, from florida.

while the people poked around and found stuff they wanted in the barn, i frolicked with sunshine out in the yard. she was crazy for the acorns that were everywhere. sunshine and i got along so well that the people took a picture of us.

when they got ready to leave and the man picked up sunshine to put her in the r.v., she didn't want to leave and began squealing and screaming at the top of her lungs. the whole neighborhood came rushing out of their houses. they thought someone was being slaughtered. fortunately, no one was, and certainly not sunshine.

i've always thought it a very high compliment that a pig was so unhappy to leave me.

nancy
.

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/22/03 at 08:53 (138338)

No surprise that Sunshine was so unhappy to leave you, Nancy! What a lovely story. Your driveway sounds about like ours - so narrow only the smallest car can get up and down it. So we have a Nissan Micra and probably always will.

And Suzanne, I too love Charlotte's Web - a wonderful book and not just for children.

.

Re: For those who love Pigs

marie on 11/22/03 at 09:03 (138340)

I love all the cute pig stories. Thanks for sharing. Julie, it sounds like your pig may have been a hog.:)I'm not sure, but I think after a pig gets a certain size they become a hog.

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/22/03 at 09:05 (138343)

If hogs can be female, Marie, I'm sure she was a hog. She was the biggest porcine creature I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Re: For those who love Pigs

Kathy G on 11/22/03 at 09:08 (138344)

When my mother was young, her Irish mother used to call her 'Shontsee' (sp?) as a term of endearment. As she got older, she found out that Shontsee was the name of my grandmother's pet pig over in Ireland! My mother wasn't sure whether she should be flattered or not!

My grandmother, who had dogs all her life in America, claimed that her pet pig was as loyal and intelligent as any of those dogs.

All I know is that if a potbellied pig is good enough for George Clooney, it would be good enough for me!

Ditto on Charlotte's Web. When I read it to my daughter, my son, seven years older, lurked in the hallway each night, listening. He was 'too cool' to admit that he just loved hearing the story again!

Re: For those who love Pigs

marie on 11/22/03 at 09:49 (138353)

Would she be called a sow...not sure how that is spelled.

Re: For those who love Pigs

John H on 11/22/03 at 12:46 (138367)

Pigs are very trainable when young but when they get a little older they can stop being nice and start being mean (Sort of sounds like people sometimes) Some of the movies that featured pigs would sometimes use up to 20 or more pigs for the same character as they could not longer perform as they got a little older. Pigs are very good at killing snakes as snakes have a tough time biting thrugh the fat in the pig and a pig will bit a snake right in half.

your pig expert--

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/22/03 at 12:58 (138369)

John, that's just why I didn't ever get up close to my pig/hog/sow (though I enjoyed our conversations). I couldn't really tell whether she was friendly or aggressive, and she was too big to take chances with. If she was a mean old sow, she could have done a small person a lot of damage.

Re: For those who love Pigs

nancy s. on 11/22/03 at 13:21 (138371)

julie, i'm glad that possibly mean old sow didn't get you. for one thing, my feet sure would hurt a lot more than they do if she had!

i sold a pig cutting-board in the shop today. pigs never last.

nancy
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Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/22/03 at 14:11 (138373)

Ah, Nancy, thank you! But I don't get it. How do you know? Did a mean old sow step on your foot?

;)

.

Re: For those who love Pigs

nancy s. on 11/22/03 at 15:38 (138380)

hmm . . . let's see . . . yah, you could say that. :))

nancy
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Re: For those who love Pigs

marie on 11/22/03 at 15:43 (138382)

I never knew that pigs could kill snakes. I know the south has many poisonous snakes. I'm sure a few pigs may be handy to have around.

We only have one poisnous snake up here. The timber rattler. I believe they are endangered. There are very few that show up. Their preferred habitat is near swampy locations. Aside from having 101 lakes we have a fair amount of swamps.

Thanks for the info.

marie

Re: For those who love Pigs

marie on 11/22/03 at 15:47 (138383)

Julie,

Your story just tickles me. I have this vision of you talking sweetly to this giant pig. I suppose a hog/pig/sow would be almost impossible to round up if she got loose.

I use to do alot of work for a magazine for Pig Farmers. I can't rmember the name of it off hand. I requested a photo shoot of a very large hog romping in the waves....the pig farmers loved the cover of that issue.

marie

Re: For those who love Pigs

Ellen J on 11/22/03 at 22:04 (138412)

Hi Julie,
PIgs are indeed adorable personalities. That one sounds like a sweetie, and if she was huge, then maybe she was a pet or a 'breeder' and not immediately destined for slaughter. I have rescued two different pigs over time, once when I was a teenager and found a dying, starving tiny piglet at a farm and the other rescue occrred last year when someone else found a sick, stunted piglet at another farm. They brought her to me and I rehabbed her. She's now residing at a sanctuary in PA. (USA). They are the funniest, most personality-filled animals I've ever worked with.
Ellen J.

Re: To Nancy and then Marie

Dorothy on 11/22/03 at 23:15 (138420)

If you had the knack, maybe you could get the pig to herd the cats. Now, we're talking entertainment!

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/23/03 at 02:20 (138428)

Hi Ellen

I think she was a sweetie - at a safe distance. And I would guess, though I don't know for sure, that she was up for imminent slaughter.

Are you involved in animal rescue, Ellen? (Forgive me if you've already told us.)

Re: To Nancy and then Marie

nancy s. on 11/23/03 at 06:05 (138431)

yes, dorothy, that would be true entertainment. i'd probably need to work on developing that knack. of course, our cats are 'fraidy cats, so they might be eminently herdable. don't know if the pig idea would go over big with the other human in our four-room house, though!

nancy
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Re: For those who love Pigs

Ellen J on 11/23/03 at 12:49 (138469)

Hi Julie,
Yes, I spend almost all my spare time working to help animals, though I take time out to ski and chat on this message board, trying to help some of the people here too--though I don't know if I'm of much help. Mostly I do wildlife rehabilitation and some animal protection work with both wild and domestic animals. Are you involved in such volunteer work also? Sounds like you know pigs pretty well, judging from your note.
Ellen J.

Re: For those who love Pigs

Julie on 11/23/03 at 13:33 (138471)

Hi Ellen

No, I'm no pig expert, what I described being the extent of my experience with them. But it was a nice experience - I looked forward to seeing her every day.

And no, I'm not involved in animal welfare - it's great that you are. I wish Carmen, who was, were still around to talk to you. She used to post a lot here, and you two would have a lot in common. Maybe she'll see this and say hello...

Re: For those who love Pigs

Ellen J on 11/23/03 at 17:51 (138487)

Hi--
Too bad I didn't know Carmen was into animal rescue. I remember that she posted quite often. I hope that the reason she's not posting anymore is that her feet are all healed up. Wouldn't that be great? I wish I could find the answer for everyone's foot problems on this message board.
Ellen J.