Pee Wee

The moment Pee Wee entered my life is burned into my memory like a hot poker.

It was early evening. I was at the kitchen sink washing the dishes. The back door opened and I heard this god awful  screeching like some wild thing being tortured, and my blood froze.

There in the doorway stood my husband, in mud boots and a winter coat, holding the source of that terrible sound: A two-day old piglet.

I felt my face form into a giant O of surprise as I stood there with the water still running. Over the din, Brian shouted, “I didn’t know what else to do with him.”

The piglet’s mama, an older sow, had died, and he was the runt of the litter. So we did what we always do with baby animals in need of extra care: We installed him in a cardboard box in the basement with a heat lamp and shavings. Pee Wee was tiny and pink, with black spots. We bottle fed him until he was able to eat solid food, and eventually moved him into a barn stall when he was big enough.

Those who’ve been on the farm tour in recent years have likely met Pee Wee. He weighs about 600 pounds now, and sports some pretty impressive tusks. So his name has become rather comical, as you can imagine. Thanks to him, we have lots of younger pigs around with his spotted skin and lively spirit. He is very friendly, and favors Brian because he remembers to bring Pee Wee special treats whenever he’s walking through the woods: Apples, hunks of cheese. And cantaloupe – Pee Wee’s favorite.

I never know what’s going to come through the door next. But I do know that it usually leads to some kind of adventure, as that’s the way things go when you live on a farm.