Side Stories by Faith Pyle
Anna and Her Pig
When Anna was a little girl about 6 years-old
her father, Harry Stuart had a few pigs. He
was planning on having some good ham for Pearl Rae to cook in her boarding
a big outdoor kitchen with a concrete floor and screens all around her.
And, she had a huge black stove that burned wood and coal and even sage brush.
This is where she had her long table to prepare all her food and cook it and
there was a nice high school girl who came and worked with Pearl to get all the
food out on the tables. The tables
were outside most of the year, with canvas stretched over arches of willow wood
to make shade for the tables. The
working crew ate breakfasts of pancakes, biscuits, eggs, bacon or ham (or both),
fruit pies, fried potatoes and big bowls of fresh fruit when they could get it.
So Pearl was very busy from early morning to late at night because dinner
at noon was bigger than breakfast. And
supper was like a whole new meal so you can see she never stopped cooking
when the crews were working hard.
mother-pig gave birth to thirteen little piglets.
She was overwhelmed with so many babies to feed that one very little
piggy couldn’t find a place to get his dinner.
Harry brought him into the house and wrapped him in a sugar sack and gave
him to Anna to hold while he fixed a soda bottle with some canned milk and water
with a little sugar in it. Then he
put a baby bottle nipple on it and they feed the piggy.
When his tummy was full he fell sound asleep so Anna begged to have him
stay in a box in the house all night. Harry
was a very kind man and so of course he let her but he told her she had to get
up and feed that pig. She did too.
When he was strong, they put him down on the
floor and he went to the bathroom. Every one yelled at him and Anna cried.
She took care after that to take him out by the other pigs several times
everyday and he learned to stay very clean in the house.
Harry said he was smarter than a puppy to learn that in one day.
Soon they named him Pinky and he followed Anna
around all the time. There was no
school at this time so she had all day to play with her pig after she did her
chores. She was learning to do all
the egg gathering and Roy, her big brother helped her learn how to be gentle
with the eggs in the nests and putting them in the basket to take in the house.
She then feed the chickens and put fresh water in the water trough.
She was still very little so her chores were just hard enough for a six
year old to do. She also had a two
hour time in the afternoon when she had to sit with the ladies of the house and
other girls and sew whether she liked it or not.
She had started at three years old learning to thread needles and sew on
buttons, as her first lesson. At
six she was doing embroidery samplers and was fairly sick of it but it was the
way of the world so if she wanted time outside and freedom to raise and train
her pig she had to be good and do these lessons too.
And she did.
When Pinky was about twenty-five pounds,
Anna found him running up and down the old teeter-totter Harry made for the
children. Pinky would run up the
board till it began to balance then he would squeal like he was laughing and run
down the other side. Sometimes he would stay right in the middle and have two
feet on each side of the sawhorse the board lay over, and he would shift his
weight from one side e to the other so that board was teetering and tottering .
Roy and Anna got the idea of getting on with him and since Roy was so
heavy Anna could not teeter him easily. Soon
Pinky knew to run down the board till his weight helped Anna and they could send
Roy up in the air. Even when Roy
and Anna were busy doing there chores that Pinky pig played on the
Harry put up a swing in the apple tree one afternoon
after church. Anna had a fun time
swinging and then she had to go in to Sunday dinner.
When everyone was finished they went on the porch to drink their lemonade
and you guessed it...Pinky is up in the swing but he was just on the seat, he
couldn’t figure out how to swing, of course.
He had the wrong kind of legs. Harry
went over and gave the swing a push and when it slowed down and stopped the
crazy pig got down took a run and bumped the swing then turned around and jumped
up. It continued to swing for a few
minutes and he had to jump down again. All the grownups had a good laugh that Sunday after noon to see Pinky
work so hard to learn how to swing.
Once Harry saw how smart Pinky was he taught him
to jump through the toy hoop Roy didn’t play with anymore.
He taught that pig how to drag a rope hooked to the bucket in the well
and help pull up the water. I can’t even remember all the tricks they told me Pinky
learned. And he keep on learning as
he became bigger and bigger and bigger. He
was about as big as a pig of his kind would grow and Anna began to worry and
worry. Would he have to go to the
smoke house? Well, Harry said,
“We should never make pets of our meat animals but since we did I will sell
Pinky to the next man that offers me a good price and wants him for a papa pig
on his farm.
is what happened. He went to live a few miles away and became the papa
pig to a great many piggies. Anna
was back in school and she told her friends about raising Pinky. Then when I was her little girl she told me and my brothers
and sisters. We loved to hear about
Pinky, Anna’s pig.
WRITTEN DOWN AS REMEMBER BY FAITH PYLE
ABOUT HER MOTHER- ANNA OLLIE STUART AND PINKY IN FALLON, NEVADA.