We boomers all have funny stories when it comes to raising our kids, and here’s another one of mine.
George, our son was about 3 or 4 years old when we took him to Van Saun Park, when we were still living in Bergen County, NJ. It’s a wonderful place to introduce young children to other wild animals like themselves. George was very precocious at that age and we were beginning to suspect ADHD, but had yet to address the issue. At this age he was bouncing from pen to pen, giving each animal a look see before moving on to the next, without marveling the various other forms of life so near his neighborhood.
Reaching the pig pen gave George a pause, however, and that gave us a chance for a breather.
“Mommy and Daddy, look at the big pig rolling around in the mud!”
George had a knack for getting “down and dirty” during his play time at home, and we were hoping he wouldn’t make the connection between the water hose, and making mud.
In the pen lay a huge sow, easily 300+ pounds, seemingly happy as a pig in… you know, with four little piglets sliding around her, just as happy. Two of them were nursing, not much caring about the mud and milk mixture they were consuming. The other two were rolling around, squealing as if laughing in a play pen.
There was a fifth piglet totally devoid at what the siblings were doing. While the sow was resting in contentment, this obvious “black sheep” of the brood was doing everything he could to antagonize his mother. He bit her tail. He walked on her back. He bit his siblings.
The sow paid him no mind at all, and was content to sun herself in the heat of the day without a care in the world.
Until Mr. Fifth Piggy bit her ear.
In a split second, she snatched him in her jaws and tossed him skidding and rolling into the sloppy mud, where he came to rest about ten feet away. He moaned and trotted off to the other end of the pen to sulk.
No one was going to make a silk purse out of that sow’s ear anyway, whether or not if had teeth marks.
There are lines in the sand, or mud, parents make which should not be crossed.