Early one morning when I was age 11 or so, my brothers burst into my bedroom, woke me up, and told me I had to go out to the back yard “Right NOW!”
I had no idea why. They told me there was something out there I needed to see right away. Curiosity piqued, I scrambled out of bed and made my way out to the yard.
At first, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Just the patio furniture, all of mom’s flowers, and a few random yard toys.
But then I heard it; this low, grunting sound coming from over near the fence. Naturally, I freaked out and ran back to the steps leading up to the house. 😂
I huddled in the steps with both brothers and my sister who had joined us, and peered into the early morning light, all but certain there was a confirmed monster in the yard.
And then he showed himself. No taller than the length of my forearm, black and white with a little pink snout… Spot, an adorable small piglet, pranced toward us, and right into my heart.
So there we were, 4 city kids, looking at the most unexpected thing ever, hurtling himself toward us, all of us gobsmacked. We scuttled down the steps to meet this tiny marvel!
He was absolutely adorable, and so friendly. We had no idea how he came to be in our yard., but a couple of hours later, that mystery was solved.
I said we were “city kids,” and by that I mean we lived in town… a small mid-western town. There are some pretty cool things that happen when you grow up in a small town; things like… our dad played in a weekly poker game with other locals.
That’s where he was the night before we met Spot for the first time. My dad went all-in on a hand, and to call, the local butcher was short on chips, so he threw in a new piglet.
My dad won the hand, and we became the proud stewards of the pig named Spot. During this time we had a big boxer-mix dog named Ben. He was legendary. When he met Spot, he instantly adopted him and they became best friends. They were inseparable.
It was an idyllic summer. We bought a little harness for Spot, and walked him along with Ben. I learned something that really surprised me… pigs love to swim! I remember taking Spot to the beach, and laughing as I waded in the water and his snout kept tapping my calf as he swam to follow me.
He was very social. He didn’t like to be alone. He always sought out the company of us humans, but would curl up with Ben at every opportunity. Their friendship was noteworthy. So much so that the local paper photographed them and wrote an article about them.
I loved that little pig. He only lived with us for one summer before moving to a farm that had the facilities to take proper care of a pig, but I feel blessed and honored to have known such an amazing soul.
Here are some pig facts, according to PETA & The Pig Site:
- Pigs sing to their young while nursing.
- Scientists rank pigs as one of the most intelligent animals, following closely behind dolphins and apes.
- Pigs like to snuggle, and prefer to sleep nose to nose.
- Pigs dream, just as humans do.
- Pigs communicate constantly with each other, and more than 20 different vocalizations have been identified; from wooing a mate to saying ‘I’m hungry!”
I am an animal lover, and cherish the creatures who have come and gone throughout my life. It’s a joy to share time with them. And it’s nice to know my friend Spot didn’t end up on my plate as bacon or ham.