This post is part of the Annie Justin series by Thea Marx. The great-great granddaughter of Justin Boots founder H.J. Justin shares a part of her busy life between tending to horses, attending board meetings, and fixing dinner for her family.
The pig woofed. I jumped, my heart palpating hard against the hand clasped to my chest.
"Geez, you scared the poop out of me!" I scolded her, in an adrenaline fed whisper that quickly turned to giggles.
"Whew, I won't do that again!" I said out loud, just to make sure I still HAD a voice because my stomach has just been in my throat a few seconds before.
"Note to self, don't surprise the pig."
I had obviously startled our newest adoptee when I reached down to pat her goodnight. She had been softly snoring in her new digs, which happened to be a white, round fluffy dog bed strategically placed next to my side of the bed. Her long eyelashes laid against her jowls, little tail relaxed straight out. She looked so peaceful and innocent. Ha! She had my number already. Today, I found out that the pig can move like lightening and make noise that rattles your brain. To top it off, she is worse than a two year old on steroids for getting into mischief.
No, Sam doesn't know yet that I have just agreed to adopt the babysitter's pot belly pig, who by the way, is potty trained, can do tricks and comes when you call her. She will even ride in the car and loves baths. The kids were ecstatic. "Mom! A pig? Really? A pig? How cool!!" I was feeling like the coolest mom in the world.
"How hard could it be?"
I had raised pigs all my life on the ranch, shown them, farrowed them out. I really did like them.
But... I had never had one in the house. There is a difference.
Petunia, is not little, she is a full grown, snorting, rooting, 150 pound black pig with a white ruff that stands on end when she was either upset or being scratched in the right place.
My first lesson came shortly after her arrival. I watched in disbelief as she sanded the paint off a corner in the kitchen scratching an impetus itch on her side. My special Brushed Gold Sunset paint was gone, just GONE! Leaving the corner guard gleaming like the freshly polished silver on Grandma's Christmas table.
"Uh, Oh, Sam's gonna kill me."
Lesson two: Before getting the kids from the bus stop, I found her happily munching away on a peanut butter sandwich dredged up from somewhere, bag and all, dribbles of peanut butter clinging to her hairy chin. She was knee deep in Barbie's, stuffed animals and fairy tale dress up clothes in the girls' room, snout in the air, a dreamy look in her eye, smack, smacking away. She looked like she was about as close to heaven as a pig could get save a great big mud puddle. I have a real life garbage disposal on my hands! Hide the Food!
She had been in residence a full 8 hours and had created enough chaos for 8 days. After the sanding job and snack, she decided to station herself under the dinner table, taking Jack's favorite spot. He was none to happy about being replaced by a pig, but relented when she made a mad, noisy dash at him as he tried to move into position to reclaim his territory. I was so unnerved about having a grunting, snorting, lip smacking pig under my table during dinner that I lured her out with a granola bar and locked her in the bedroom. It only took a few minutes for the door to start rattling wildly and then it began to nearly bow in the middle. I was sure it was going to splinter in two just like you see in the movies. She was surely pounding it with her shoulders like a linebacker. The noise was terrible and the kids were in awe. I let her out. What were they going to tell their teachers?
"Good one," Annie, I now told myself, making my way to my office after my heart had stopped pounding and I was sure she was asleep. I wasn't going to touch her again.
"How on earth are you going to explain this to Sam...? He is going to have a heart attack, I just know it."
I sat down at my desk, letting out a big sigh. I had to restore some order before he got home from buying heifers.
"Come here, Mojo," I said to our parrot as I put my hand out to him. "I need some counsel."