I’m not a newbie, when it comes to raising animals.  After all, I’m almost fifty-three years-old.  And ever since I can remember, my family raised chickens and beef to fill our freezers.  There was even an odd turkey or two.  And back when I was in high school, there was a brief stint of raising a few hogs, too.

Now for the past eight years or so, Shae and I have raised a few hogs.  It’s not a big production by any means.  It’s just a few for the freezer for ourselves and close family.  And we have advanced beyond purchasing a forty-pound, feeder pig and raising it to slaughter weight.  We now have our own sows and boar.  Some of these pigs have been with us for two or three years and they’re just plain, normal pigs.

Anyway, on Tuesday we decided to put all the breeding pigs in one pen.  Then all the feeder pigs went in another pen.  We went from our four summer pens down to our two winter pens.  It easier for winter chores, but it also ensures more warmth for the pigs.  Afterwards, I realized that I let one of our pigs down and I’m disappointed with myself.

Let me back up and explain.  I have done a fair amount of research on pigs.  And we decided for our needs that we wanted Berkshire pigs.  We located a Berk boar last year and purchased him.  Boris was a beautiful black hog with white markings and almost full grown.  Afterwards, I needed to find a Berk gilt or sow.  This spring, I located a litter of Berkshire piglets.  I was thrilled and off we went to pick out our new pig.  We brought her home and named her, Natasha.

Natasha was the prettiest little pig that you’ve ever seen.  And her personality?  Oh my gosh, she could grunt your ear off.  Well, this pretty, little girl ended up getting her own private pen.  And she got extra attention from me.  She got special treats.  I can’t even guess how many bags of marshmallows she ate.  She was so spoiled that Shae dubbed her, Princess Pig.

Well, as you may have guessed, Princess Natasha is the pig I have let down.  She was spoiled rotten and could do no wrong.  She had her own little world, all to herself.  And she didn’t have to share anything with other pigs.  Princess Natasha had been placed on a pedestal.  That is until Tuesday, when she was placed with older and wiser pigs.  And a boar.

Princess Natasha’s world has been devastated.  She doesn’t have the real-life skills to fit in with the other pigs, yet.  And she’s confused. The only thing she’s got going for her is her beauty.  She’s just a pretty pig; black with a few white markings.  But, in the pig world, that doesn’t count for much.  If she were all white, I’d even be tempted to change her name to, Snowflake.  But, it’s not her fault that she lacks worldly pigness.  It’s mine.


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