Well, not really me but the rest of my family because we all know my rule: We don't eat what we pet. Not to worry, I didn't pet Hormel. But even though I remained emotionally unattached and didn't pet her for the entire 11 months we had her, and trust me that was really hard for me to do especially when she was little and cute and pink, (SO PINK!), I still can't stand the thought of her "purpose" in life. Maybe life wasn't the word I was looking for, but you get the idea.
I tell you all that to say.....
Hormel is no longer a resident of the Koons Zoo. She's happily residing at some lovely farm (in the sky) where the mud and sweet feed are endless. And the wonderful farm that took her in (in my imagination) gave us a different pig (one that was mean and ugly and had no soul) to be butchered to fill our freezer with bacon, ham and other porkalicious delights.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Ask GI Joe, he might tell you a different story. One that goes a little something like this...
The deal was from the beginning that if we were going to dabble in the ways of pig farming, I had to remain completely uninvolved and blissfully unaware when the time came for Hormel's destiny to be fulfilled.
And that almost worked except it's now almost a year after we got her and she was still roaming the barnyard and routinely escaping and destroying our yard and getting in the road, so I had to gently remind GI Joe that it was time for her to go to her new "home." Because if it didn't happen soon, I was claiming her as a pet and dressing her in tutus and teaching her tricks.
The plan all along was that one day he would just load her up after I'd gone to work and take her away and I wouldn't even notice for a day or so.
That plan was foolproof except that I overheard him tell his parents that he'd made the call and that they would no longer have to worry about a pig coming down the road to destroy their yard too. Yes, she traveled, it was annoying. But I still didn't know details and that was fine with me. I just pretended I didn't hear it. But in my head, for some reason I thought I heard Thursday mentioned as the drop dead date. I'm sorry that was tasteless, but c'mon it was a little funny.
Who am I? I went from a strict hobby farmer to a heartless pig farmer making sick jokes about my pig's demise. I'm a changed woman.
Not really. Humor is how I cope. Just ask my sisters about the chocolate cake at my mom's funeral.
I thought it was just a normal Monday morning until I called GI Joe to tell him about an email I'd received from Ryder's teacher (he placed 3rd in the school Geography Bee!). He was huffing and puffing and blowing the house down (I am seriously OUT OF CONTROL today) and chasing a pig around. He told me that he was taking the boys on a field trip and that they would be going to school late. Why do I have to be so inquisitive? Why couldn't I just assume a field trip meant laying around in their underwear, eating popcorn, and watching cartoons or shooting stuff in the woods? Why did I have to ask one too many questions until I learned that their field trip was actually a trip to Hormel's new "home" aka the Meat Locker?!? (That's where her new "family" was picking her up, I guess.) And that they had missed the bus because it had taken all 3 (GI Joe, Blade and Ryder) of them to round up the pig and get her loaded into the trailer for the "field trip". Dakota moves at sloth speed in the morning so she was still the house oblivious to the Man Vs. Pig battle raging in the barnyard, so when the bus came she ran out and got on it, completely unaware that her brothers were not joining her and that there was a wild hog chase taking place in and around the barnyard. She's kind of a blonde sometimes. Apparently, the great hog roundup of 2012 was quite an ordeal and ended with a 34 year old wrenching his knee, 2 boys who worked up a farmer sized appetite before 8am (an appetite for bacon obviously), and a pig securely locked and loaded in the trailer.
I wish I could tell you more about the field trip but all I know is it's done, we'll have farm fresh bacon, ham, thick cut pork chops, pork roast, etc in a week or so, you know from that OTHER farmer's pig. GI Joe told the boys that they were not allowed to talk to me about their field trip or their farm "work" this morning because if they did I wouldn't eat any of the product of their labor, even though they thought the whole thing was THE COOLEST THING EVER. Heartless, those 2. The consolation prize is that they get to tell Dakota all about it and they absolutely could not wait to do so. And she'll be thrilled to hear about every detail, she really will. I don't know how I can be related to these people. I'm half expecting an email from their teachers saying "They were late to school because you took them WHERE..?? And also, please tell them to stop scaring their classmates with stories from their field trip" because you know darn well that they went to school and told every single one of their friends about their adventure.
Many have asked how I'm doing with this twisted development in our lives. I'm doing better than expected. Hormel really was quite annoying and destructive in her last days at the Koons Zoo. I will not miss the knocks on the door from neighbors driving by to tell me that "the pig is out"...on the road, or in the ditch, or at the neighbors....again. I will not miss the overturned soil all over our yard from Hormel's countless escapes. Nothing like a hog rooting around your front yard to keep it classy. And I will not miss the running to the fence and oinking the minute any of us step outside. Ok, I will miss that a little but I'm sure she's still doing that at her new home.
But you know what will get me through this dark time? Bacon. Bacon cures all. That and the thought of Hormel happily frolicking with other pigs at her new farm. That is what she's doing, right?
Now the question is, where's the BEEF?
That would seem the obvious next step, raising a beef cow (Holy is still alive and well and always will be thankyouverymuch), or however you say that. I'm telling you right now, there's no way, I could remain emotionally unattached to a sweet, fuzzy, calf. I heart cows. (I also heart steak but that's beside the point.) I'm trying to convince GI Joe that we should just get a baby heifer (that's a girl for all you non farmer types) calf to raise to keep and have BABIES and then we would trade the babies with other farmers for a slaughter cow, that I would never meet until we picked it up from the locker in nice packages of TBones and roasts. Holy NEEDS a girlfriend! It's a flawless plan, no?
All I know is that this little piggy went wee wee wee...all the way "home".
Trust me, she wasn't this cute for long.