Over fifty years ago, my older brother Lewis and I raised pigs for an FFA project. When a pig was ready to take to market, we would load it into our one-and-a-half ton truck with four-foot high sideboards and haul it to the auction in a neighboring town.
One Saturday, we loaded up a big old sow and headed out. After a pleasant ten minutes of driving, we noticed that the pig had propped her front hooves on the top of the four-foot high front board. How she did that, I will never know. Lewis was driving, and he had to put the brake on suddenly because the light had turned red. The momentum carried the pig over the front board onto the top of the cab where she then fell onto the hood, then the fender, and finally the ground.
We were in the middle of the street, and traffic was all around us. The pig managed to get onto her feet very carefully, and I got out of the truck and tried to herd it off of the road into a used car lot at that corner. She was bleeding from her nose and looked quite sick. I got her to the back of the lot behind some cars in a corner where she laid down. I thought she was going to die.
My brother and I did not know what to do. Lewis found a phone in a local business and called home for Dad, but he was not there. Mother suggested that we call our neighbor Wilford Larsen, a seasoned farmer and good neighbor. Wilford said he would come and help us. He arrived with a horse trailer, and we managed to herd the pig into the trailer and continue our journey.
When we arrived at the auction, the man unloading the animals said, “That pig looks a little banged up.” Wilford responded, “It’s been a little rough ride.” That seemed to satisfy the man. I was hoping the pig would not die before she could be sold. She did manage to stay alive long enough for us to get the check. This is one of the reasons that I did not want to be a pig farmer. The top of the truck cab was caved in some, but I managed to push it back up and it looked okay.
~ R. Gappmayer