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Where do pigs bathe?

We live next to a cattle farm, I met the farmer one day when I was waiting for the school bus. We call him Farmer J and he is very nice. We heard a lot of stories about the land and the property. Unfortunately I can’t relay all of them to you here as I had yet to develop my fluency in the Blue Ridge Mountain dialect. But the most important story I did catch.

“Do you have pigs?” I asked. “I heard you used to have pigs.” Why do I care if he has pigs, I don’t know, but what else do you talk to a farmer about?

“Well we used to have pigs, we got a hundred head o’ cattle now and only one pig but we’ll get more sometime,” said Farmer J.

“Oh, okay.”

“Yeah we used to keep the pigs up there in the woods that back up to your land,” he added.

“Nice, seems like a good shady place,” what do you say about pigs and where they used to live?

“Mhm, you got that nice pool up there, don’tcha?”

“Yes we love the pool, the kids swim almost every day!” I said with too much enthusiasm.

“Yep, them pigs loved that pool. I remember when the owner put it in twenty years ago. Pigs loved the pool.” He trailed off looking wistfully at the ceiling. “Anyway, had to move the pigs.” He turned his gaze to me “you can imagine.”

My eyes were wide with horror. I could imagine. I had spent that past week desperately trying to balance the water chemistry in the pool as five days after we moved in there was a terrible algae bloom that ruined the children’s lives. I’m not being dramatic – it ruined them. I was driving to every pool shop within an hour, buying chemicals online like they were candy, begging the pool service company to put us on a weekly schedule I didn’t care how much it would cost. I was sure I’d never get the hang of the test kits, the chlorine levels, which chemicals could explode, and where to store them. So naturally, when I pictured pigs in a pool my heart clenched at the thought of what they did to the water chemistry. My mind then followed that trail to how exactly one gets pigs out of a pool. A nine foot deep pool no less. 

“Yes” I said quietly “I can imagine.”

“Well anyway” Farmer J continued. “If them cows ever get out and wander around your property, don’t bother yourself with ‘em! You give me a call an’ I’ll come get ‘em.”

I gave him a good hard look at that statement. Then I glanced down at my side shoulder messenger bag, my lululemon leggings and my woolen AllBird slip on shoes. I wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing that I wasn’t seeing but I felt it went without saying that cow wrangling wasn’t something I’d be inclined to take on without great force or threat to my life.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I’ll do that. I’ll just give you a call.” But all the while I’m thinking, there’s an electric fence that surrounds these cows, plus regular clapboard fences, plus we have a chain link fence, how in the dickens would they ever get on our land anyway? 

People! They can! They will! And they did!

But we’ll get to that. Until then, Farmer J added a dramatic withdrawal of his cell phone from his overall pocket to drive home the point I should call him. On his cell phone. His flip phone cell phone. I know you’re all wondering, do they still make those? They do, and people are buying them, people like Farmer J.

The most important revelation from this visit to the farm store was the purchase of fresh butchered bacon. Which we all ate immediately and it was incredibly delicious and has since become a major staple in our house.

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