The pig man lived in a house that was very close to the ground. It had a broken kitchen window and dirt could be seen through the floor boards. It wasn’t that Fred didn’t earn any money. It just seemed that he did not know any other way to live.
In the little town there was a hill that led from his front door directly to the tavern/card room. He did not own a car and if there had ever been a dream of a better life, he had long forgotten it. As for the broken window, he said that he was going to retire in 7 years so why fix it. Many, many tomorrows would pass and the pillow that kept the cold air out rotted in the frame.
Then one day he decided to buy a pig. He would build a pen on the back lot, he would have ham for dinner next winter. It seemed like a brilliant idea. The neighbors on the east side of him didn’t even raise an eyebrow. They knew the stench would make it hard to breath. But they said Fred lived like a pig so what could they expect! So the pig was brought in one day in by a farmer that lived close to town. The truck was perfect for the job. You could not see in the truck windows and a whole passel of children along with their pa piled out when the truck was situated for pig unloading. People that live in town loved a little commotion. There was a lined up to watch the process and everyone was amazed when Fred’s makeshift pen managed to keep the little pig corralled. One or two even were heard to remark that the possibility was very real that a pig would be wandering loose in the near future.
The new neighbors moved in on the east side of Fred lined up with the rest of the neighbors. There was one child and she did not mind pig at all. The fence bordering the two back lots were just right for climbing. The pig provided the children with lots of fun. They named the animal Rosie and had no concept about where Rosie was going. None of them had ever heard the word slaughter or blood letting or any other kill the animal now so we can have food on the table this winter words. In this part of the world these children were called “townies”…innocents in a kill and eat animals world.
Her mother, on the other hand, knew about pigs, lazy people and bad smells. She tried to talk reason with Fred, her husband, the people that lived on the corner and the neighbors on the east. She knew that if a pig were cared for by people that knew what they were doing, they did not smell that bad. She also recognized what she had moved next to. Those pigs really needed to go. And this woman was not going to get any help.
This little girl knew her mother well. Even without any help the job had been accomplished. It had not been easy but the pig was inexplicably gone and the pen stood empty. Fred was not mad and he was too lazy to go searching for it. He just was giving it holler…he had figured that no one would say anything even though he knew everyone hated it. He had just not counted on this woman…not even a little bit.
The mother planted a row of lilacs between the two houses and tried not to notice when the things she took to the dump were scattered in the neighbor’s back yard. Fred did not move. The neighbors on the west or east did not move. Life went on as usual.