Trips to my father’s parents’ farm could be fun, but painful

Trips to my father’s parents’ farm could be fun, but painful

Visits to our Dad’s parents’ farm were exciting and educational for us kids. We were thrilled to see cows, horses, a mule, pigs and chickens up close. We were warned those farm animals were not pets, and we had to keep our distance. We didn’t.

On one of our visits to the farm, I wanted to adopt a chick from a hen’s brood to take home. The hen objected and pitched a wing-waving, feathers-flying, screeching fit and chased me out of the hen house. The screeches alerted the rooster, who immediately went into defense mode and attacked my little brother, who just happened to be walking past the hen house. Roosters are fierce fighters, and my terrified brother ended up a bloody mess from the pecks and scratches all over his arms and legs. That ended my adoption plans.

Once little brother was patched up, we headed for the barn to visit the horses. On the way we passed the pen that housed a sow and her multitude of piglets. Those little baby pigs were too cute to pass up. I couldn’t resist slipping into that pen, grabbing a piglet and tossing it to my brother, who hid under his shirt. The sow objected to having one of her babies stolen. She leaped up, bellowing at the top of her lungs, and charged after me. Fortunately, our grandpa heard the noise and rushed over in time to lift me out of the pen. While he dealt with that chaotic mess, my brother and I escaped with the baby pig.

Piglets are not quiet, little creatures, and as we were running away, that cute, little piggy began to scream at an unbelievable pitch and volume. We were caught, the piglet was returned to his irate mom and we were handed over to our folks, who were told to take us home. Now.