A Christmas Pig

© Jack Wessels

published in ANVIL Magazine, December 1995

Winter was nearin' and I was a fearin'
that starving would be my demise
Cause shoeing is slow when winter winds blow
and not being particular wise
I hadn't saved back for in case of a lack
should befall my farrier work
My head fairly reeled, I swear I could feel
my backbone through the front of my shirt
Then just in the nick, some guy called, "Come quick -
got a yearling bad off, going lame"
Now corrective shoein' takes a little doin'
so mentally I started counting my gain
But I thought I would choke when he said he was broke
and would I please work for a trade?
I was instantly hot, but said, "What ya got?"
holding back my verbal tirade
"Bring out your rig and I'll give you a pig"
now I'll say that left me agog
What kind of a twit would even admit
to raising both horses and hogs?
I'll tell you right now that I prefer cow
beef is more to my taste
Then my brain got to tickin' - at least it's not chicken
so I said, "I'll be there - post haste!"
Ham sandwiches! Link sausages!
Pork chops! and Bacon! and Loin!
My mouth fairly watered anticipating our barter
Oh, the foodstuffs I'd soon be enjoyin'
That colt was a case - had to make a brace
to heal up his deep flexor tendon
Then wanting what's mine, I asked for my swine
and you know he seemed plum offended
He came back from the barn and under one arm
was a little bitty pig - just weaned
He claimed he said pig, not how big
and I wondered, should I hit him in each eye, or between?
But I cussed him up and down and headed for town
with the pig in the pickup with me
Here I was broke, but not alone in my poke
hoping none of my friends would see
Now the gal I'd been courtin' was pretty important
she ran the local Dairy Whiz
With my natural charm and a pig under my arm
I strolled in and said, "Guess what this is"
"Merry Christmas" I said using my head
"This pig's for you!" She cried!
"It's a pot-bellied pig, it won't get very big,"
"They make exceptional pets" - I lied
When I got her calmed down and finally looked around
the pig was nowhere to be seen
We found him in back where he had seriously attacked
a bucket of leftover ice cream
She thought that was cute and soon my repute
was coming close to being restored
I knew I was in when he nuzzled her chin
"Can I keep him?" she implored
Come a year later, I'm a cook and a waiter
Me and the pig have a home
I found marital bliss at the Dairy Whiz
serving up burgers and fries and cones
It didn't take long to prove I was wrong
about the breed of her favorite pet
when he hit half a ton I thought he'd be done
but he weren't through growing yet
He was a spectacle it's true but what could I do
that pig was the talk of the town
so I broke him to drive and we'd go for a ride
every evening about sundown
But late last night, he tried to pick a fight
to prove that he could be rank
Like a Sumo he grunted, it was blood that he wanted
as he took on the propane tank
He let out with a roar, he's a dim-witted boar
as he and the tank, they did roll
With gas spewing out, they wrestled about
but he never reached his goal
It took only one spark to light up the dark
and barbecue our curly-tailed pet
Now come over soon, we'll start about noon
you're welcome to eat all you can get
We'll have ice cream and fries and a porky surprise
a self-serve meal sure to please
oh, and bring a ladder and rope, it's your only hope
for picking roast pig out of all them there trees

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