Many days ago and on a small country farm there was lived a family of domestic pigs. Far away from his house, farmer Willigan made a pasture filled with animals. He had goats, cows, horses and pigs. They all lived together without many arguments or disagreements for the most part. Farmer Willigan raised the animals so he could have fresh meat in the winter months for his family and friends. Each year he would restock his animals so he always had a new assortment. He kept some for breeding, used some for his family to eat and sold some to other people. The horses and cows had hay to eat. The goats kept the pasture grazed well, and the pigs had a variety of things to eat including slop. You see slop is a country word for a mixture of all the scraps from the dinner table put into a big bucket. Farmer Willigan would then take the bucket and pours all the scraps into a trough. The trough was just a long metal container that held all the scraps and is long enough for many pigs to eat at once.
On one side of the pasture farmer Willigan dug a wide hole and filled it with fresh water. On the other side of the pasture was a pond for the animals to bathe in. He kept metal tubs filled with fresh water so all the animals could drink . Farmer Willigan prided himself in his farm and always kept it clean and neat. Well, that was until his last litter of pigs came along.
Margaret was a sow pig and her husband Albert was a boar hog. They had been married about a year when Margaret gave birth to ten little suckers. A sucker is a little baby still nursing from its mother. They grew with leaps and bounds. They were the cutest little piglets you ever did see. They were as pink as bubble gum and had the cutest little curly tails. One of the piglets was much smaller than all the rest and they called her Wiggles the runt. Margaret had to remind Albert to watch out for Wiggles for she was so tiny. They were afraid the big pigs would step on her or perhaps accidentally lie down on her.
“Mom can I go down to the pigsty with all the other pigs?” Wiggles squealed.
“Heaven’s no Wiggles! You must stay here with me and stop all your wiggling. We sure named you right because you wiggle all of the time. Now lie down here and drink your milk!” Margaret said as she pulled the little pink bundle closer to her. “Albert! You need to take all these others and let them get some water. Be careful and keep them around the edge. We don’t need any drowning’s.” She sighed.
Albert sat down near the edge of the wallow and began to tell all the children about their ancestors.
” You know your ancestors, that is your grandfather and his father evolved in the forest. They lived in fields and riverbeds in Europe and Asia. They were real scavengers with powerful snouts. The snout is on the tip of your nose and they used it to root around in the riverbeds for food much like we still do. You see the snout to us is much like fingers to those like Mr.Willigan. Your ancestors had stiff hair on their bodies like you see on the big hogs here. They would wallow in the river beds to keep cool and to cover themselves with mud to keep the pest off their skin. When they became stressed, they would head out for the riverbed to wallow in the cool water.” He continued.
“What will we do if we get stressed dad?” One of the piglets asked curiously.
” Oh piglets and suckers do not get stressed!” He laughed rolling his big round eyes. “Wallowing and rooting are two ways pigs cool themselves. Be careful not to drink the water in the wallow; only roll in it. The fresh water is for drinking. Just because there is water in the wallow does not mean you are to drink it.” He said hoping they were listening to his lecture. “Some pigs potty in the water and it is not good to drink it. You might get sick!” He frowned.
The piglets loved wallowing in the mud and playing all day. It was so much fun to them. As the days went by the piglets grew and the girls became known as Gilts, and the boys Boar pigs. Only one thing was wrong. Wiggles did not grow like the other piglets. She remained much smaller than his brothers and sisters. She was, however a happy little pig who absolutely loved to wallow in the mud.
“Watch me roll Mama!” She called out. ” I’m much faster than the others even if I am smaller.” She grinned.
She finally emerged from the wallow totally covered in black mud. The only thing you could see were her big pink eyes.
“You are the cutest little Wiggle. I’m so very proud of you and I love your long eyelashes. I’ve always wanted long eyelashes myself but mine are blonde and short.” She smiled blinking her eyes to show her the difference in their eyes.
Wiggles enjoyed the summer enormously as did all the piglets. On sunny days all the pigs covered themselves in black mud to stay cool. Wiggles just jumped in and rolled all she wanted to. All the other girls made fun of her because she loved to roll in the mud so much. She didn’t care. It was fun and she was a fun Gilt.
Cool weather began to chill the air and farmer Willigan began to think about which pigs he would take to the market and which ones he would keep for another year. Much to Wiggles surprise his father was chosen to take to the market.
“Don’t you worry your little self one bit.” Albert snorted. “I’m a big boar and I will be just fine. You take care of your brothers and sisters. We were not put here on this earth to stay forever. I’ll be just like your grandfather and your great grandfather. I’m a proud boar and don’t you forget it!” He smiled.
As thing happen all the time, the pigs were sorted out and some were used for food. Others were taken to the market and some traded to other farmers. No one wanted Wiggles because she was too small so she remained with farmer Willigan.
“Mama! Why did all the other pigs get to go and I have to stay here?” She questioned with big sad eyes.
“Oh honey! You are the runt or the smallest child. You don’t have as much fat on your tummy as most do. I suppose farmer Willigan will want to fatten you up for a while and as pretty as you are he will probably use you to have babies.”
“Babies! I don’t want babies! I want to find me a fellow first.” She grinned showing her pearly white teeth. “All the rest of the girls have fellows and I will too!” She flipped her snout up in the air and proceeded to march straight towards a young handsome male pig. Margaret smiled remembering how she had chosen Albert many months earlier. She surely missed him but she knew every good pig is called to serve their country.
Winter passed quickly. Green grass began to grow in the pasture for the goats. The rain had filled the wallow up to the top.
“Hallelujah! It’s time for us to roll in the wallow. The first one in is queen of the wallow!” Wiggles yelled across the pasture. “It’s pigsty time where only the best sows wallow!” She laughed. “I’ll bet you a bowl of slop I’ll win this year” she giggled.
So Wiggles became known around the farm as queen of the wallow. She was indeed one of the best sows on Mr. Willigan’s farm and in that same year gave birth to five little suckers and one little runt she named Wiggles Junior.
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved.
Question. What is a female pig called?