Hogged In The Night

All day I labored, building a fence that no pig, big or little, could jump over, crawl under, or push through. Having that task finished, I proceeded to build a fence to pasture the horse. Alas, the task was longer than the day. I neglected to plant the last post. The hole was dug, but night had come and the hole must wait to be filled until morning.

Though the hour was late, I decided to still wean the piglets. I removed the sow and closed her up in her new home, confident that my hard work held the Farm Journal seal of approval. Scarcely was I finished when a soft rain began to fall. Throughout the evening the rain fell, watering the spring soil.

The children were taken to their beds and tucked in with a cheery good night and a kiss. My wife and I tucked ourselves into bed. We had said our prayers, thanking God for a successful and safe day. I stretched out on my soft mattress content that the day had gone well. I needed a good rest. I sighed and drifted to sleep, slumbering the sleep of a man at peace with himself.

Only minutes into my deep sleep something probed at my subconscious mind. It teased and begged until I finally came to a lazy kind of consciousness. I listened for a few half-hearted seconds but heard nothing. I fell into a subconscious state again. I awoke again. Something was stirring outside the bedroom window. I could not identify the sound. I listened intently. There it was again! It sounded like heavy breathing. Though I didn’t know what it was, I knew I didn’t like it.

I grabbed a flashlight and slipped across the room to the window and listened. When the heavy breathing started up again, I turned the flashlight on and shone it right into the face of the big sow. It was the same one that that was supposed to be in her escape-proof pen! My heart sank and the blood pressure rose.

I dressed in a hurry. I did not need a pig to ruin my yard. I became a little angry. Being angry does not bode well when herding pigs. I started wrong. As I quickly learned, starting wrong does not produce good results. Pigs are notorious for knowing what you want and then doing the exact opposite. I quickly opened the gate to the sow’s pen. Next I went behind the house and herded her toward the pen. She pretended to like the idea.

She looked at the gate and went around it. I quickly went around the other way. She went past the gate. I reversed direction. She went past it again. My blood pressure rose. She smiled. I kicked, and missed. She bolted. I ran like a nut trying to catch the bolt. She took off for the house at a pace meant to intimidate me. It did. As she went around the back of the house, I cunningly went around the front. We met eyeball to eyeball on the far side of where I wanted her. It dawned on me that she was having the time of her life.

She turned and took off for the barn—just for fun. I took off after her dead serious. About the time I had lofty hopes of catching her, my legs sank into the earth. About the time my feet hit the bottom of the hole, I remembered that I was going to plant a post into this hole! Water seeped into my shoe and dampened my desire to raise pigs. For a moment I stood myself in a corner of the round hole scolding myself for not setting the post. Wearily I pulled myself out of the hole, admitting defeat.

Walking slowly to the barn, water sloshing in my shoe, I opened the gate. With a twinkle in her eyes the sow walked through the door to her squealing pigs. I closed the door after her and trudged to the house with bowed head. After washing up I sneaked under the covers, having no desire to explain things to my wife. For a long time I lay sleepless. Every time I tried counting sheep, they turned into smiling sows!

A Monument of Past Craftsmanship


Like a faithful worker, this building has been taken for granted. I want to plead with the owner to not tear it down. We are too hasty in tearing down old buildings.

No new building can ever take the place of an old landmark. We should have more dignity than to neglect old landmarks. In two days this building could be brought to its former dignity. I fear though that the owner would rather neglect it and spend borrowed money to build something new.

Old buildings are a little like grandparents. They speak of past experiences that are valuable for the future. We cannot afford to sever ourselves from the past. Respect the old. It is the building block of progress.

May this building stand as a monument of past workmanship, not present carelessness. Isn’t it gorgeous?