Web Site: David Taub on Authorsden
No, Seriously! – The Pot-bellied pig and the Preacher's wife
My wife burst through the door, from the front-yard, her arms waving wildly, "Quick give me the dog leashes…"
Few things startle me anymore, when it comes to my wife and her rescuing animals. Even a local veterinarian had given up counting how many abused and abandoned dogs and cats she had rescued after a 6 month total neared triple digits.
Then there's horses, goats, cows (one of which I was forced to corral off the road into the nearby fenced perimeter of a church. Well, when I say nearby, three miles up the road is relatively nearby for country-lane distances), turtles, birds, snakes… The list seems endless. On more than one occasion I have expressed how glad that elephants and giraffes are not indigenous to the forest region of Central Florida.
But this time she caught me off guard, and I really did choke on a mouthful of coffee, when she added, "Pot-belly pig. A small Vietnamese pig is running up the road. Quick give me some leashes."
I can't recall the last time that a quiet Friday morning unexpectedly turned into a 'Catch the Pig' day. Come to think of it, I can't recall any morning having turned into a 'Catch the pig day'. And the quiet morning was now shattered by our pack of disabled dogs leaping up and running around the living room. They knew something was afoot as I shouted, "Get back, get back," in my usual manner, when the front door is opened.
And just as suddenly as she had charged in, she grabbed a handful of leashes from the shelf, spun around, and charged out again. My role, in these sort of circumstances, is to make sure that the door is firmly shut, preferably with the dogs on the inside and the 'visitor' on the outside.
Just as quickly as our canine crew had burst into a frenzy of barking, they all knew that the next procedure was for them to run the opposite direction, lest they suffered my well aimed shots of water squirts administered from an all-purpose water-filled squirt-bottle.
This only left me to close the child-proof gate between the kitchen and living-room – me on one side and they on the other – and wipe coffee off the kitchen table.
Not being a 'Vietnamese pig expert', I wondered how it would fit in with a pack of dogs, not dismissing the possibility that she would soon return with pig in tow. Our rescued cats get along with most of our dogs, so why shouldn't a pig, I mused to myself?
Thirty minutes passed and the phone rang. "David, I've got the pig fenced in," my wife nonchalantly announced. I peered through our kitchen window, scanning our fenced in back-yard. "I don't see you. And I didn't know you had the cell phone with you," I replied, somewhat puzzled.
"No, not our yard," she explained, "The front yard of a lady up the road. Phone Maribeth at the Humane Society and let her know you will be bringing in a baby Vietnamese pig. They have one already. I'll be home in a few minutes, but I'm leaving the pig here. We can fetch one of the dog carrier-kennels back. Get the medium-sized one out of the cat's room. I'll be home in a few minutes…" Various questions sprung to mind, none of which could be voiced, as I listened to the buzzing tone of the phone which she had just hung up on me.
By the time she arrived home I had dutifully retrieved the spare carrier-kennel from the converted second bedroom, which served as the cat-room. Over the barking of the dogs, I heard her announce, "Her name is Amy," as my wife re-appeared through the front door.
"Why have you named the pig Amy?" I asked, somewhat bemused.
"No, the preacher's wife is Amy," she explained. Except that didn't really explain anything, because I could have sworn it was a Vietnamese pig she was rescuing, and not a preacher's wife.
The surreal images flashed through my mind – the arriving at the local Humane Society and trying to explain why I had a preacher's wife contorted in a medium sized carrier-kennel, when the large carrier-kennel would have been much more comfortable. Even now I could hear the conversation – "But why have you bought a preacher's wife in a medium sized carrier-kennel, David!? And where is the Vietnamese pig?"
"No you must have misheard me. I never said Vietnamese Pig. And she is in the medium-sized carrier, because the large-sized carrier wouldn't fit into the back-seat of the car…." It's amazing what strange thoughts can pass through one's mind when life throws a curved ball.
k.t. continued, "I managed to chase the pig into the front yard of a house, further up the road. The front yard is enclosed by a chain-link fence. I chased it in and locked the gate."
Not uttering a word, I thought to myself, "Hence sealing the fate of both the pig and the owner of the yard!"
"A very kind lady came to the door, saw what I had done, so she came out and helped me. She is a preacher's wife. Her name is Amy," my wife elaborated.
On hearing the words "preacher's wife", my second cup of coffee followed the same fate as the first cup, which didn't seem to particularly faze my wife, as she passed me a coffee-stained dish cloth to wipe the kitchen table for the second time in under 30 minutes. I then confirmed that, yes, I had tried to get hold of Maribeth at the Humane Society, but she was not there yet because her car had broken down on her way from home that morning. A message had been left for her to call as soon as she got there. With that, my wife pulled a scrap of paper from her pocket which had the name "Amy" scrawled on it, accompanied by a phone number.
"Hello Amy? This is k.t.," my wife announced. "How's the pig doing?… Good… There might be a slight delay, because Maribeth's car has broken down… Yes, she will call me as soon as she gets there and then I'll come over and get the pig."
k.t. looked over at me and said, "What?"
After an hour had passed, the phone rang and k.t. picked it up. "Oh dear… I see… I'm sorry about that. Well I do have a carrier-kennel which the pig will fit in… OK…."
My heart sunk, and I shot k.t. a furtive glance, expecting her to explain we had just adopted a pig, because Maribeth was not planning to go into the Vietnamese pig herd business.
"It was Amy. She just used up the last of her bread and is now eating flowers." Fortunately I had given up after the second cup of coffee, so even though my mouth dropped open, the kitchen table remained dry. I knew I was going to regret asking this question, but I just couldn't stop the words tumbling out. "Is Amy pregnant, or is this an 'American thing'? What type of flowers?" In spite of having lived in the US for four years now, time enough, one would have thought, to have come to terms with the differing customs of America and England, I still stumble across the occasional 'American thing' we Brits don't do.
"The pig, you fool," k.t. laughed. "Amy has fed it all of her bread, and on top of that it has eaten all her prize flowers. I'm going to take the carrier over and try and tempt it in with some dog biscuits. I'll also phone the Humane Society and see if Maribeth is there yet."
Getting no objections from me, (not that any objections would have distracted k.t. from her sharply focused plan of action) she grabbed the carrier-kennel and disappeared out the front door. Friday morning had taken on a life all of its own, and the phone rang again.
My mother didn't seem at all surprised when I explained that k.t. was chasing a pig around the front yard of a preacher's wife. And no, we hadn't gone religious. In fact we hadn't even known there was a preacher living near to us. At least, not until k.t. had chased the pig into the front yard. No, I had no idea if the preacher's wife was cross about her flowers, and I wouldn't expect the case to go to court either. By all accounts, Amy was a very kind lady. At least, k.t. said she was, although that was before the flowers had been eaten. And so, it was agreed I would call mum back later when (if?) the pig catching story reached its conclusion.
I thought about attempting a third cup of coffee while the dogs were settled and while no pigs, preachers' wives, or other unusual encounters loomed on the horizon. Then I thought better of it, and resorted to a cigarette instead.
Friday morning ended up far better and rather different than I had expected.
On her return with a carrier-kennel containing no pig, no preacher's wife, but just a few half-broken dog biscuits, k.t. recounted the closing chapter, which was:
After her attempts to lure the pig into the carrier-kennel failed, I phoned the Humane Society to ask for 'back-up'. This in itself was quite a turn of events, as it was normally the other way round. Anyway, with k.t., Amy and two Humane Society volunteers on the scene, one way or the other, the pig's flower consumption was about to drop dramatically.
One of the two volunteers managed to grab the pig, lifting her up off her four dainty trotters. And then all hell broke loose! The saying, 'To squeal like a stuck pig," does not truly convey the vocal abilities of a pig, which instinctively knows its lot in life is to have all four feet firmly planted on the ground.
Considering our immediate area is not renowned for its population density, the pig managed to attract the largest gathering of people that has ever occurred even outdoing the occasion when one of our 'nearby' residents was tracked down by the police for a bank robbery last year. Both of the local police cars had arrived at the same time, and it made local news headlines. There was almost a sense of pride that our neighbourhood got a 10 second sound bite on the TV that day!
There was a sense of sadness knowing that there was no way the previous owners could even have dared to hope finding their lost pig. Not in a rural area like this, what with alligator, panther, and then there's the hunters and their packs of dogs. Then all of a sudden a couple appeared, shouting, "Please don't take our Sassy… Our pig!"
Yes, Friday morning had ended up far better and rather different than I had expected. Who would have thought that, while the owners couldn't find their pig, a pig would find its owners!
As for me, I have an empty, medium-sized carrier-kennel to go and sweep out… Until the next time…
Copyright David Taub (UKpoet.aol.com), May 2001
David Taub is a member of :
The British organisation 'National Union of Journalists' (NUJ);
Overseas Columnist (resident in Florida, USA) for the UK magazine 'Poetry Now';
Co-author of Language of Souls (listed on amazon.com)
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|Reviewed by Janet Caldwell
|OMG, I don't know whether to laugh or vomit. Just joking! This is hysterical.
|Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson
|lol, boy that has got to be a whopper if I ever heard one....just kiddin....this is a very funny, very sweet story...good write|