So today I bought a pig.
I don’t actually have the pig in my possession. It’s still at the farm, where it will remain for the next few days until the results of some test or other come back – not for my pig, but for a nearby pig, and presumably something medical rather than multiple choice – and then we can move it to a different farm, where it will grow up and learn how to do Swine Project things under Lauren’s watchful eye.
This is assuming that we can actually transport the pig from the one farm to the other, a task that involves 1) a vehicle, 2) a large tarp, and 3) a crate of some kind capable of holding a pig. We’ve got all of these except the third one. We thought we had a line on a crate we could borrow, our cat carrier being sadly insufficient for the task at hand (and don't even get started on all the rabbit boxes we now own) but all of our potential crates seem to have fallen through. Fortunately the guy we bought the pig from said he’d lend us a wooden box of some kind for transportation purposes, so we may be fully crated in time for us to move the pig. One does not simply shove a pig into a minivan without confinement and expect good things to happen to either pig or minivan unless you are recording something for America's Funniest Home Videos.
These are not concerns I ever thought I would have, growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but life takes you in some interesting directions when you're paying attention to other things.
It seems like a very nice pig, as pigs go. It’s a Tamworth, which is a long brown pig (as opposed to the pink ones and the spotty ones and the black ones, which are all somewhat shorter in length though no less tall). It’s also a squarish breed, which is apparently a good thing for a pig to be. They’re known as “the bacon pig” because they have an extra rib which makes them longer and therefore have more bacon per unit pig than most pig varieties. Or so I was told. I have no reason to doubt it.
The farmer did say that Tamworths are pretty active and need to be walked and otherwise occupied more than other pigs because otherwise they will get unruly and unruly is cute when they’re the size of pit bulls but when they get to be the size of, well, hogs, then it gets significantly less cute. Unruly does not win ribbons at the County Fair.
Tamworths: the Jack Russell terriers of the swine world.
This will be Lauren’s second year in the Swine Project. She’s hit high school pretty hard and some decisions had to be made as to what activities could be kept and what needed to be jettisoned, which is why there will be no turkeys or new chickens this year, but she felt that the Swine Project was worth continuing and so here we are. So it’s not really my pig, so much as it is a pig that we purchased for Lauren.
We may even have a second pig sometime soon.
And won’t that be a time.