When March rolled around, it was time for the kids to select pigs for their 4-H Fair Projects. As I am not a huge fan of pigs, I left the duty of pig shopping to Hubby. I sent Hubby and our three minions to pick out pigs with potential to show well and provide ample entertainment and responsibility for the kiddos. I figured they would bring home four, maybe five, hogs, because only two of our kiddos are old enough to show at the fair, and we can only eat so much pork. I was wrong.
Hubby and the minions returned with SEVEN pigs!!!
Two of the pigs were a “Good deal” because Farmer Joe (our piglet supplier) threw in the runts for free.
Did I mention I am not a fan of pigs???
In my surprise at the arrival of SEVEN pigs, I asked Hubby how we ended up with such an “impressive” number of hogs. He explained that, in spite of our guidance towards selection of show-quality hogs, the first pig selected was the “He’s so cute!” runt to later be named “Wilbur.”
When Farmer Joe saw that our youngest son (the one who is NOT old enough to show) wanted the runt in the corner, he said, “I’ll give you that one.”
Catching a whiff of a “good deal” my darling daughter eyed a runtly pig with spots hiding amid the larger hogs and said, “Can I have that one?” Of course, Farmer Joe granted my daughter’s wish, and we were now the owners of two, free pigs that were not going to be show-quality hogs.
In the end, each child did come home with at least one pig that could pan out to be of decent show-quality.
When the time came to name the hogs, the runts were named Wilbur and George. As it turns out, Wilbur is actually a girl. I asked my son if he still wanted to call the scrawny, pink piglet Wilbur, he said, “I like Wilbur for a girl name.”
What could I say to that?
My son had made his choice and was proud of his female Wilbur. In keeping with our literary, animal-naming traditions, he named his other pig Charlotte (even though he knows that was the name of a spider). Wilbur has been slower growing than her six littermates, but she eats and drinks with tenacity, sleeps snuggled in with bigger pigs, and gets lots of attention. I guess that’s all that matters.
Because I know these pigs are a source of pride and joy for my children, I am trying to put as much Intentergy as I can into the daily processes of making sure there is enough food and water for the hogs. I send my kiddos to the barn often to check on and play with the pigs and have attempted to turn my olfactory glands in the other direction as the stench wafts off my smiling children when regaling the tales of their pig-filled adventures. I encourage you to also give the passions of others consideration.
Even if we don’t love the hobbies, interests, or fair projects of others, there is something to be said for sharing in the joy that comes from watching those we care about engaged in pastimes that make them happy. Can’t we all use a little more happiness?
While we can’t all have female pigs named Wilbur, we can all give the enthusiasm of others a chance and provide positive energy when it comes to supporting the growth and experiences around us.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. A pig by any other name would stink just as badly.