‘Oinkers’ Goes to Town and other such tales

“Fred”, my wife called out, “that pig’s heading for town”!

Sure enough, as I scanned the fallowed farm field, there she was … head down and going as fast as her stubby feet would carry her lumbering body. Well over 100 kilograms worth of determination! ‘Oinkers’, as our kids nicked named her, started life as a cute little piglet – an addition to our hobby farm when we first moved from the city.

We never fenced her in … never had to. Her daily routine was simple. In the mornings we would open up her wee shed to feed her a breakfast of pig ration; but really, anything and everything would do her just fine. And, if our dog wasn’t careful, she would head butt him away from his dog dish and chow down whatever was remaining. Once she was planted, no amount of barking or growling would move her until she was good and ready. After that, she would normally lie out on our farmhouse porch … belching and sunbathing … often leaning against the back door, which meant we had to find an alternative exit.

Obviously, something was different today; and then the thought hit me. We’ve been seeing a slow parade of cars heading to the local church – whose bells were loudly proclaiming a marriage was taking place – complete with a large outside tent to feed the multitudes. And, whatever was on the industrial sized barbeque was filling the country air, and Oinkers’ nostrils. It didn’t take her long to figure it out. So, since we lived on the town’s outskirts, off she went. Now, I didn’t know if pork was on the menu; but I figured the family didn’t want the wedding guests mixing and mingling – with the real thing!

By now, though, she was already halfway across the adjoining field when I went after her with a rope in hand. Fortunately, she had slowed down to nibble some old corn cobs. Since I had always been a good athlete … played some school football … I decided to take her down with a ‘flying tackle’. And flying is exactly what I did as I bounced off of her like an India rubber ball. Next thing I knew I was lying flat on my back and seeing stars in the perfect blue of a sunny day.

I felt Oinkers come and sniff me over and with a snort of disgust she turned and sauntered back to the house. Lying there, I thought at what the local newspaper might print, if they only knew: ‘Oinkers Goes to Town … Owner Doesn’t Make It’.

I also remember, oh so many poignant memories from when our kids were younger. As I recall those now, the words of Barbara Streisand singing ‘The Way We Were’ come to mind.

“Can it be it was all so simple then / Or has time re-written every line / If we had to do it all again / Tell me – would we? Could we?”     — The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand

On a cold winter’s day, our five-year-old daughter stood teary eyed in the doorway… heartbroken, with the lifeless body of a newborn lamb in her arms. It was as if her life was slipping away. No one can tell her why: life just is. As my wife tries to console her, I cup the motionless little lamb in my hands while sitting by the wood stove’s heat, mulling over life’s many ups and downs.

Suddenly … could it be? The little creature is starting to stir! Frantically, my hands contrive to perform some kind of ‘CPR’, but really, I don’t know what I’m doing. Yet, in another few minutes, its head was up and bleating out loudly for its mother. Our excited children came running with shouts of joy – throughout the big old farmhouse – I’m an instant hero!

It was the closest I ever came to pulling off a miracle yet it reminded me that all life is a miracle – despite the pain, the loss and the heartache … or maybe it’s only our will that makes it so.

“So it’s the laughter / We will remember / Whenever we remember / The way we were”

Fred Parry
Fred Parry

www.fredparry.ca (2012)

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  1. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.
    http://www.businesstraveltours.com is my website.

  2. Hi Joan,

    Although I can relate to your concerns, I guess my answer is … I have no answer at all.
    I know it’s probably counter-intuitive; but I decided, when I started this blog in 1999, that it would be free to all … to do with what they will.

    I guess it all depends on what are your objectives. Mine were to add my 2 cents worth to the world conversation and I’ve found it has been a 2-way street. In the big scheme of things, I get my inspiration from a million sources I’m scarcely aware of; and in return, others probably, in much the same way, may get some from me.

    And, because of that, my written work been passed around (some by permission … I suspect mostly not) to readers all around the world (only 5% of readers are from my home country). So, what I’ve found is that what you give comes back to you, many times over.

    For example, it’s hard for me to fathom that my little blog with its scant (once a month) content, has grown to 10’s of thousands of readers. I certainly didn’t cause that to happen; and I see it as more of a world-wide vote on the relevancy and universality of my work. And, strangely enough, it hasn’t been a negative factor in my work with existing and planned print outlets, that use the same blog content.

    I guess it’s a big world out there and nobody has a monopoly on a good idea … leastwise me. Will that make for a better world? I figure that it’s really for others to decide.

    Thank you so much for your comment and I hope this been of some interest to you … and maybe to others.

    Fred P

  3. P.S. Hi again Joan,

    After reflecting on your comments a bit further, here’s an additional thought … that you might consider.

    A man was being interviewed on the radio, and he said that when his article was printed in a magazine, the magazine simultaneously had it for sale on the internet (I believe it was through Amazon Books with a KOBO connection.) So, for the price of a coffee, readers could download his published magazine article. That way you could run out your exclusive / copyright stuff and at least get paid for it!

    It seemed to me like a good one / two punch … first get it printed and then piggyback the online version. The author said that it’s great for work that is short and easy to digest – that people can download to their smart devices. (He also mentioned that the fee to the author is around 30% per download @ approx $1.99 ea.)

    I hope this info helps. I didn’t want to leave you with the impression that the idea of getting compensated for created work was foreign to me. I mean, a worker is worthy of his wages, is he not? And, if someone wants something for nothing, then they really are asking too much!

    On the other hand, to me, that is secondary to the merit of why we artists do what we do … otherwise it’s just ‘business as usual’… not my raison d’être.

    This type of approach could strike a workable balance.

    Thanks again for your comments. It helped me sort through this artistic / business dilemma, yet again. I’ll definitely check out you blog. Because of the depth of your comments, you must be serious about what you do.

    Best regards,

    Fred P

  4. Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get one thing done.

  5. I like this web blog very much so much great information. “Probably the most distinctive characteristic of the successful politician is selective cowardice.” by Richard Harris.

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