It’s been over a week since the frat the boys graduation day and I know I am behind on telling their story. The last week has been a busy one. The same day we took them to the butcher I went back to Ohio to stay with Harold and Clarissa. They have been so busy helping us here on the farm that they haven’t had time to unpack and settle in themselves. So I thought it was only fair to help them out. After spending twenty-two years moving with the Navy I’m a whiz at unpacking and setting up house keeping. Now their walls are hung with pictures and packing boxes no longer clutter their living room and kitchen. It looks like home now and maybe they can finally relax, that is if little Duke allows them to.
John and Carol arrived at PHF early on the morning of September 8th. John brought over his horse trailer that had been modified to accommodate the four hogs plus a cow that we had purchased from our friend Gary. The frat boys would be loaded first and closed off in the front of the trailer, then Sonny and John would take the trailer over to Gary’s farm to load up the cow.
The morning sky was still overcast with clouds after having rained for two days prior. The frat boys pen was a muddy quagmire, just the way they like it. Unfortunately for us it was going to be a lot tougher to wrangle them into the trailer. Picture mud wrestling at its finest.
Everyone tried to prepare themselves for the mud slinging that was sure to ensue. John and Carol were ready for battle, wearing coveralls and rain coats with ball caps pulled down to the tops of their ears. You could barely see their eyes beneath the brim. Sonny was more free style wearing his usual T-shirt and jeans, but making a statement with his one half boot welley. Harold chose the survivor man method and used silver duct tape to secure white trash bags around his pant legs and the top of is welleys. The trash bags ballooned out making him look as though he was wearing a bad pair of Hammer pants. Walking sticks were handed out like Gladiator weapons and could be used to prod the pigs or just hold yourself up in the muck.
Sonny and John hooked the trailer up to the Kubota tractor and backed it up to the pen. It was so muddy in the back pasture that we didn’t want to risk getting John’s truck stuck. John and Harold held the boys back while the gate to the pen was opened and the ramp of the trailer was laid down. I threw a little corn up in the trailer near the front, hoping to entice them in.
The frat boys lead us a merry chase. We tried making a corral and running them in, but they just jumped over it. They ran into the shelter and ran out, mud flying in all directions. Finally we had the bright idea to put corn on the trailer ramp, just be quiet and watch as they finally walked themselves inside. All but the runt. He was always the smartest of the four, and carried a huge Napoleon complex. We had to corner him until he had no where to go but inside the horse trailer. Once inside, Harold had to use a wrestling move to get him wrangled into the front section of the trailer. It was a lesson learned. We should have just put feed in the trailer and they would have eventually went peacefully inside.
Exhausted and splattered with foul smelling mud, we closed and secured the ramp of the trailer. The frat boys were settled and all was quiet now, except for the suck squish sound of Sonny’s half boot welley as he walked away into the distance, visions of pork chops and smoked hams dancing through his mind.