A Hog a Day Part 7

Mr. Grady Rose traded hogs and raised watermelons, a brilliant plan. During that period, Bossier Parish, Louisiana,  had open range laws.  That meant livestock was free to roam, decreasing the responsibility of the farmer and making driving after dark a challenge.  Motorists were responsible for damages, should they be careless enough to hit one.  Black livestock presented a real challenge at night since they were cloaked in invisibility.  Passengers, as well as the driver, watched for livestock.  The ever present threat of livestock certainly cut down on speeding.  Contrary to what you might expect, accidents were rare.

The point of this story is that Mr. Grady was deeply involved in the hog business, a vocation that required a great deal of work, but little cash outlay.  Since he had captive labor in his four boys, it was an ideal career choice.  The hogs ran wild in the woods, feeding on acorns and other vegetation.   In the spring he baited catch pens in the woods with corn and caught the sows with his mark in their ears when their litter was young.  He cut his mark in the piglets ears, castrated the males, and turned them loose to grow. It was a grave offense to tamper with animals with another man’s mark.  Marks were well-known by other hog farmers in the community, so word was passed on to neighbors what part of the woods a man’s hogs had recently occupied, making it easier to track them.  Of course, one couldn’t expect to harvest all the hogs bearing his mark, but it was a good crop.  No man wanted word to get around that his mark was found on young pigs following a sow with another man’s mark.  Men have been shot for that!

A few months later, the pens were baited again to catch the unneeded sows,  castrated males for slaughter or personal use, or take to market.  Uncastrated adult males, or boars were not good eating, due to their hormone load. Catching the hogs was dangerous business.  Adult males had sharp, curved tusks and fought fiercely, especially when penned up.  They’d also attack in the woods.  Hog hunting was considered fine sport by many.  Once captured, Mr. Rose penned hogs up in pens at his farm to fatten.  That’s where the melons came in.  They were a cheap, abundant crop, easily harvested.  The hungry hogs gorged on the fat melons that burst as they hit the ground.  It looked for all the world like a bloody battle as they squealed, grunted, and gobbled their way aggressively through the heap.  I never got enough of watching.

Mother usually bought melons from peddlers who drove through the neighborhood selling from the back of their truck.  One kid would flag while the others ran around like mad trying to find enough change to purchase a melon which commonly sold for a dollar, but if the peddler came at the end of the day and wanted to unload, we might get two for a dollar.  I never got satisfied on melon and would eat as close into the rind as possible, trying to get every sweet taste.  I was stunned to see Mr. Grady split a fine melon, pass the heart to one of the watching kids, and toss the rest to the hogs. I’d never experienced such luxury.

Never a victim, forever a fighter


I try to keep my writing light and upbeat for the most part, but I also want my writing to be honest and real. I can’t very well do that if I’m constantly sugar coating with “I’m fines” and “I’m stronger than this storm” and rainbows and butterflies and yada, yadas and blah blahs.

I’m going to address a topic that I don’t like to talk about for all the classic reasons, but it’s important and whether it’s just helping me get it out or even if it helps someone else by reading it, I can be satisfied with that either way.

Depression is real. It’s ugly and awful and excruciatingly painful and I hate it. It affects so many people, for so many reasons, and it can even hit a person without any reason at all.

Mine stems from change. A change that I never asked for or wanted…

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Lawyer Jokes

From Law Review

Joke 1:

A lawyer dies and goes to Heaven. “There must be some mistake,” the lawyer argues. “I’m too young to die. I’m only 55.” “Fifty-five?” says Saint Peter. “No, according to out calculations, you’re 82.” “How’d you get that?” the lawyer asks. Answers St. Peter, “We added up your time sheets.”

Joke 2:

What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer?

A bad lawyer can let a case drag out for several years. A good lawyer can make it last even longer.

Joke 3:

One day in Contract Law class, the professor asked one of his better students, “Now if you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?”

The student replied, “Here’s an orange.”

The professor was livid. “No! No! Think like a lawyer!”

The student then recited, “Okay, I’d tell him, ‘I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, claim and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding…”

Joke 4:

As the lawyer awoke from surgery, he asked, “Why are all the blinds drawn?” The nurse answered, “There’s a fire across the street, and we didn’t want you to think you had died.”

Joke 5:

A woman and her little girl were visiting the grave of the little girl’s grandmother. On their way through the cemetery back to the car, the little girl asked, “Mummy, do they ever bury two people in the same grave?”

“Of course not, dear,” replied the mother, “Why would you think that?”

“The tombstone back there said… ‘Here lies a lawyer and an honest man.'”

Joke 6:

Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, an honest lawyer and an old drunk are walking down the street together when they simultaneously spot a hundred dollar bill. Who gets it? The old drunk, of course, the other three are fantasy creatures.

Joke 7:

At a convention of biological scientists, one researcher remarks to another, “Did you know that in our lab we have switched from mice to lawyers for our experiments?” “Really?” the other replied, “Why did you switch?” “Well, for three reasons. First we found that lawyers are far more plentiful, second, the lab assistants don’t get so attached to them, and thirdly there are some things even a rat won’t do.”

Joke 8:

What does a lawyer get when you give him Viagra?


Joke 9:

The lawyer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he went to law school and graduated with honors. Then he went home to join his father’s firm.

At the end of his first day at work, he rushed into his father’s office and said, “Father, father! In one day I broke the Smith case that you’ve been working on for so long!”

His father yelled, “You idiot! We’ve been living on the funding of that case for ten years!”

Joke 10:

How many lawyer jokes are in existence?

Only three. All the rest are true stories.

Run for the Hills

Photo courtesy of Wendy Irizarry

At first glance I thought this snake was so cute until I realized what his business in the birdhouse was.

The birdhouse itself has a story. It was given to my husband many years ago by a coworker who knew we loved to garden. Seems the birdhouse was built and painted by a little boy named Charlie. Charlie had Autism. And cancer. Building the birdhouse was a tremendous feat for Charlie, and I can imagine how proud he was of it. Sadly Charlie lost his battle with cancer, and the birdhouse sat in the closet until it came to us. We chose not to paint it, or alter it in any way, and hung Charlie’s masterpiece in a prominent place in our garden. A tribute to a little boy, and a reminder to us that life is precious.

What a great, but horrifying picture.  Thanks, Wendy.