In the straw-filled corner, weighing in at approximately EIGHT huuundred pounds, it’s the ravenous, no-meal-is-too-big, porker from the pasture…Jerrrrrryyyyyy “The Haaaaaam” Swiiiiinefeeeeld. And in the dusty corner, weighing in at 100-someodd pounds (Seriously? As if I would go ANYWHERE near the scales within a month of the most gluttonous holiday season of the year.) it’s Naaaaancy “I have a Big Stick” Gaaaaallimooooore.
I understand if you think this match sounds a tad one-sided, but I have a big stick. A really big stick. Let me explain.
Among the many animals living at Tails You Win Farm you will find two rather large, fabulous hogs. Spamela Anderson is the grand dam of the place. She has been a fixture in our lives for nearly 12 years, since the day she was liberated from our city animal shelter, thereby escaping certain fate as a slab of bacon.
Jerry Swinefeld is our younger hog. He came to us through a pig rescue group (yes, they exist) after escaping a vicious dog attack as a young pig and hiding in the woods for two days with open, infected wounds including one ear completely torn off. How terrible, you say? Not so much. One ear forever lost…one long, comfortable life forever gained.
Back to our lopsided match. The bout described in paragraph one came to fruition because Spamela is an older gal, and Jerry is in his porcine prime. They get along very nicely nine times out of 10. They snuggle together in the straw on cold winter nights. They root in their pasture together. They wallow in the mud together on hot summer days.
And then there’s mealtime.
All love is lost when it comes to jockeying for position at the dinner trough. Years ago, when Jerry was a young whippersnapper, Spamela ruled the pigsty with no problem. She was a benevolent queen. As long as she got to eat first, at her choice of the feeders, all was well. This was back when she was a big gal tipping the scales somewhere over 800 pounds herself.
Now, however, Spammy is growing old. By the way, it took a bit of research to uncover the natural life expectancy of a hog. Good grief we do love our bacon. FINALLY, I discovered that a pig can live to be a teenager…16 years being the maximum life expectancy. For the larger hogs, like Spamela, that maximum may be a bit lower. So having nearly reached 12 years, Spammy is, well, she is definitely in her golden years.
With age, Spammy is also growing smaller. She is a bit of a little old lady pig at this point.
Jerry, on the other hand, can be summed up in two words: FREAKING HUGE. Seriously. This hog is massive. He would make your jaw drop if you stood near him. That is, if you were brave enough to stand near him. Appearances aside (and Jim’s opinion aside), he really is a sweet hog. He likes to have his tummy scratched. He likes to have his back scratched. He likes to have his chin scratched. See a pattern here?
But, all scratch-the-sweet-piggy stories aside, the life stage and body condition differences bring us squealing back to the “Thrilla with Hogzilla” moment in the barn last night. It is safe to say that Jerry officially discovered the chink in the armor that once gave Spamela the upper hoof in the feeding chain.
Whereas once upon a time Jerry would have never challenged Spamela, now, my formidable friend has decided that whatever his pink counterpart is eating SURELY must be tastier than what he has been served. Dinnertime, if left to the big guy’s plan, has become a giant game of musical troughs and Spamela is definitely being shorted by the eating machine that is Jerry Swinefeld.
So that’s where I decided to step in. Yes, me and my very big stick.
I position myself between 800+ pound Jerry and the “dainty” Spamela. Somehow, armed with my very big stick, I manage to convince Jerry to simply enjoy his very adequate dinner, thereby allowing dear Spammy to eat in peace at her own pace.
Some call the idea of fending off King Hog in this manner over-the-top dedication (actually…none but me have called it that). Some call it bravery (again, not so many). Some call it absolutely-f’ing-have-you-lost-your-mind-nuts (there it is!).
But hey! It’s a REALLY big stick and I shake it at him. I hit the ground with it. Sometimes I give him a little smack in the butt with it. How can this not work?
Vegas odds makers are skewing things heavily (pun intended) in Jerry’s favor, but I still say the smart money is on me. I am David to Jerry’s Goliath. I won the first round, I will win again. I really will. (Saying that as much for my benefit as yours.)
Let’s all forget last fall’s story of a mafia hit man tossing a rival mafia boss into a pen of hungry hogs where the evidence was quickly and completely obliterated. Yes. Let’s forget that story.
Another feeding time approaches. Gotta run get my stick. See you later. Hopefully. (I joke! Good piggy. Goooooood piggy?)