I upended the bucket into the trough. “SuuuuEEEEEEE, Suuuuuuu.” The drove of pigs came around the corner of the barn and dug into their morning meal.
Pigs are omnivores. They need a balanced diet. You can buy feed in bags, and we did that here at the farm, but you can also supplement the store-bought food with produce and meats to keep it interesting for the little fellas.
When I started workin’ here, workin’ for Farmer Dell and his wife Belle, slopping the pigs was my least favorite job. I had to do it twice a day, every day, and Farmer Dell was particular about how you treated his pigs. He insisted that they get enough vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein to keep them healthy all year long.
Truth be told – I was a little scared of the pigs when I started working here but I settled into a routine, I never liked em I stayed just a little leery of em, never trusted em, never enjoyed spending time around em.
I had only worked for Farmer Dell about a week the first time he came out to tell me that he was going in for supplies. He’d be back tomorrow though and he wanted to insure I knew what had to be done while he was gone. “Gene,” he said, “do you think you can keep the pigs fed and get the equipment hauled out to the side of the access road by yourself?”
“Yessir, Mr. Dell. I reckon I can do that. Anything else special you need me to look at while you’re gone?”
“Keep an eye on Belle, if you would. Make sure everythin’s OK up to the house,” he said.
Those words are what started it. Those words sealed Farmer Dell’s fate.
I won’t go into all the details but I did settle into a routine at the farm. Feed the chickens, feed the pigs, tend the crops and maintain the equipment. There was the added benefit that Belle Dell was real friendly to me when her husband would go for supplies. We commenced to carrying on like a house a’fire. We kept each other warm. “We was in love.”
Accidents happen on farms all the time. It’s real easy to get hurt in this business. One day, after workin’ here for about 6 months, I accidentally whopped Mr. Dell with a shovel. It bounced off the back of his head after travelling quickly through a round house swing. Being well aimed it dropped him like a sack o’ potatoes. A shovel blade makes a nice melodic sound when it impacts with skull.
I dragged him out behind the woodpile and went to tell Belle that it was done. I thought she would be happy. I expected… well I guess I don’t know what I expected but, she freaked out and that wasn’t what I expected.
She went all hysterical on me. Started yelling and said she was gonna call the sheriff. I had to kill her too. Killin’ her husband was a “crime of passion” killing her was “self defense” it was a clear case o’ she or me.
A fully grown pig of the variety that we raise here at the farm will eat about 6 pounds of food a day. We had enough pigs that it took less than a week to dispose of the bodies. Nobody stopped by, nobody called. Folks tend to mind their own business ’round these parts. I gotta move on now. Funny, I haven’t minded feedin the pigs for these last few days. Kinda started likin’ em. Just a little bit.
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