Bringing Home the Bacon

We were performing an installation in rural Iowa about a month ago when something interesting happened. The site was about 100 miles (162 kilometers) from a usable airport and the countryside between the airport and the site was picturesque farmland, verdant and alive, dotted with the occasional barn or dust billowing behind a tractor.

During the drive I came across a farmer who was walking near the side of the road. With him was a good-sized pig that had three wooden legs. Figuring there must be a very interesting story, I pulled over and powered down the driver side window:

Me: “Hello sir, how are you today? I can’t help notice that your pig has three wooden legs.”

Farmer: “Don’t you go talking badly about my pig, this is one fine animal. This animal saved the entire family one night when the previous house caught fire. If it weren’t for that pig squealing up quite a ruckus and waking us all up, we would’ve burned to the ground along with the house. That’s one fine pig.”

Me: “I meant no offense, I was just curious about the pig….”

Farmer: “Hey I told you not to be talking bad about my pig, it is a fine pig. He was rooting around ole Bob’s place over yonder when he found Bob had flipped his tractor and his leg was partially trapped underneath. My little pig helped dig ole Bob out and dragged him to safety; otherwise Bob might not have made it through the cold night. Yes sir, that is one fine pig I got.”

Me: “I mean no disrespect sir, it’s just that you don’t see a pig with three wooden legs every day.”

Farmer: “Why are you going and talking bad about my pig? That there pig is a part of the family, especially after Timmy fell in the well and needed rescuing. That pig came to the house squalling and carrying on like you wouldn’t believe. Got us to go out to the well and we were able to fetch Timmy out of it; all thanks to that pig. That is a good pig.”

Me: “Believe me sir, I understand, that is one fine pig. With the great things it has done for your family and neighbors, you must be very proud. It is just that you don’t see many animals let alone pigs that have wooden legs and your pig has three. I am just curious why he has three wooden legs?”

Farmer: “Well heck, when you got a pig that good, you don’t eat him all at once!”