Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pigs, Sheep, and Throwing Dice

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."  John 10:28

Have I told you the story about Piggy? Well, I was in 8th grade and I took home a runt from my stepdad’s father’s pig farm to raise as my own. I kept her in a box on my dresser and got up every two hours through the night to feed her with a baby bottle. My stepdad cared for her during the day.

Anyway, she was pink and cute and had a tiny little grunt. I’m not sure how long she stayed in the box, but the time came when she was strong enough to be moved outside. We put up a barricade in a walled-in area between the house and the carport and left her outside for her first night as a real pig.
 We’d also gotten a new dog named Kim sometime that week. She was purportedly a coon hound, and she was all black and definitely pregnant. She was also quite the fence climber, I learned the next morning.

I went out first thing to check on my pig, and Kim ran to the barricade, jumped over, and sat by my dead Piggy that she was proud that she had killed. She sat and wagged her tail violently. She’d bit her right across her spine and probably broke her back.

I was horrified. I cried and cried.

My mom still made me go to school that day. (For the record, I believe pig dying is worth a day off school now.) So there I stood outside of the band room at Will Rogers Junior High crying, and waiting for the bell to ring for us to go in. Kids would come up and ask me what was wrong. They gave me funny looks when I said, “My p-p-p-pig died!”

It was one of my more traumatic hick moments as a child.

Last night, I was asked to be a sub for a Bunco gathering. I hadn’t played Bunco in five years, but I was pretty sure I could figure it out again. I was the first one to show up and didn’t have any idea if I’d know anyone else there besides the friend that called me to sub. My friend Amy came too, so that made two people I knew.

Anyway, I was stuck with the ghost as a partner at the head table for most of the evening and eventually won “Most Wins”. They said they won’t be inviting me back. Amy said I cheated. Apparently you can’t win the first time you play with a group you don’t know. Unwritten Bunco code, or something.

We all stood around after the game and started telling stories. Lo and behold, Amy told of a traumatic adolescent farm animal death that had happened to her!

She said that even though she lived in town, she would visit her friend out in the country. Her friend had a myriad of animals to play with and raised baby lambs. As luck would have it, one of the lambs was a runt that year, so the friend and Amy had nursed the baby lamb in a box by the stove for weeks. Amy said that every weekend she would go to her friend’s house to check on the baby sheep.

The time finally came when the lamb was strong enough to be set out into the world. And guess what?

Her friend’s dad ran over it.

She and her friend were so distraught over the death of the sheep that the father almost cried too.

And so it was, through Bunco and stories of traumatic farm animal death, that Amy became more solidified in my mind as a Hick Sister.

May you be able to bond with your friends over less traumatic memories!


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