Monday, October 8, 2012

The Pig and the Duck

Our cottage was situated on a very nice lakefront lot with a fifty-foot seawall and pier.  The area close to the seawall, especially at the east end of it, was soggy a good bit of the time, though it was planted to grass.  Too, forget-me-nots grew freely in that area, and very pretty were the shiny blue punctuation marks they provided in the lawn.

Across the lane and opposite our next door neighbor's house lived a young man named Steve with his son, Trey.  One summer, probably about our tenth year at the lake, Steve acquired a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig as a pet for himself and his son.  What a cute little pet!  The neighbors adored the animal, and it was allowed, more or less, free range of the territory.

Summers come to an end, though, the October leaves are raked, the pipes are drained and the cottage is put to sleep for the winter.  But oh, frabjous Spring when the place is reopened and "the season" starts again!  Now we discover that Pig, while still very friendly, is much larger than she was in the fall.  As the summer wears on and the days become hotter and hotter, the human inhabitants of the environs spend more and more time in the lake.  The Pig likes to swim, too, and she strolls across the lane and down to the lake for a dip betimes.  However, she is a pig, and pigs are given to rooting and wallowing.  Pig discovers the soft spot in our yard this side of the seawall.
The little blue flowers are so attractive.  Let's dig them up!  Pig is a very talented digger, and when the hole is sufficiently deep to satisfy her needs and accommodate her body, she wallows.  This is not a pleasing behavior to the human inhabitants.  Pig must be banished from the yard.

Now it should be related that Pig had a playmate and frequent companion, for at Easter time Steve's next door neighbor acquired a little duckling.  Duck grew, as ducks will, and it attached itself in friendship to Pig.  Everywhere Pig went, Duck tagged along.  Duck's owner would take Duck to the lake and attempt to get it to swim, but Duck was having none of it.  Believe it.  A duck that did not want to be in water.  So much for the old saw, "Takes to it like a duck to water."
Karen was frustrated that Duck would not swim, for it was her plan that when fall came the duck would respond to the call of the wild and fly off to wherever ducks go when the vee formations soar overhead.
I was fortunate enough to witness this little vignette.  One afternoon Pig walked across the lane and down to the lakefront.  Duck waddled along close behind.   Pig stepped into the water, launched herself and started to swim leisurely around the area.  Duck stopped on the bank, quacked loudly, no doubt scolding Pig for her reckless behavior.  But it became clear that Pig was enjoying her swim and was not giving it up.  Duck stepped into the water; and to her surprise she discovered that she could remain afloat on the surface.  Then she discovered that she could swim!  Oh, fun together with friend in the water!  The story of the pig that taught the duck to swim.

Fall came, leaves were raked, and so on.

When the cottage was opened in the spring we missed the presence of Pig.  I saw Steve one evening and asked what happened to Pig.  "Well," he said, "she went to the farm.  When I got her I was told she would probably get to a weight of 45 pounds in her adulthood.  When she got to 150 pounds I realized that I could no longer keep her as a house pet."

All things come to some end.

Images: Wikipedia


Shelly said...

What a delightful tale- and here's hoping Pig is enjoying her days on the farm, hopefully with an Olympic sized pond nearby.

Grace said...

Cute story..

Jim said...

Sometimes nature just needs a little help, apparently, as in the case of poor Duck.

Vee said...

You should write a children's story based on this true story. Cute!

vanilla said...

Shelly, Pig and Duck provided some entertainment, that's for sure.

Grace, thanks. I miss the lake sometimes.

Jim, yes, it seems Duck simply needed encouragement from a trusted friend.

Vee, I may have exhausted my writing skills in cobbling this account together, but thank you!

Secondary Roads said...

Lin has the ducken wheel and you have the ducken pig. I'm only making an observation. :)

That's quite the story. Cute too.

vanilla said...

Chuck, thanks. I guess entitling it "Ducken Pig" might have seemed a bit derivative?

Sharkbytes said...

Too funny- and yet another wonderful story of cross-species friendships- a promise of the coming kingdom. But yet, 150 pounds with hooves is too much house pet.

vanilla said...

Shark, a wonderful friendship, indeed. Hooves in the house seem somehow undesirable, no matter the size of the animal.

Pearl said...

Pigs teaching ducks to swim! Cats running for President!

What's going on here, people?!



vanilla said...

Pearl, it is a topsy-turvey world. Guess we need to get used to it!