Winston

Sitting here in the kitchen just now, a picture on our frig caught my eye….

poster

Picture of Winston and I

_______________________

A passing comment by my dad  when I was 14, is still bearing fruit to this day. Dad was reading The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale in his stuffed leather chair after work one night, and as I walked by he said..”You need to read this Junior.”

So I did.  Up until then, it never entered my mind, I had any control over what went on in my head. I gradually discovered  I could influence my emotional well-being more  than I realized, just by paying attention to my mental responses to life.  (Does that make sense?)

So you might say, I have become a seeker  on how we as humans can cultivate a more healthy thought life, all the while staying rooted in the reality.

I have no time for simplistic Polly-Anna type drivel, nor spiritual “name it and claim it”nonsense not tried on the anvil of life….

Having said that,here’s a link to my favorite quote about attitudes.

…skipping….skipping…skipping.

In my 40’s I came across the story of Winston Churchill and realized there was  a man I wanted to know more about.  Almost single handedly  (it seemed)  he had been able to inspire of the people of England  in the midst of their battle with Nazi Germany…

churchill quote

How did he do that?  I wanted to know.  Later I realized he was not always up, he too wrestled with the dog days of depression..but he also had some hobbies  to encourage himself and recharge his batteries emotionally.

Some of the activities  he used included slipping away to his farm in the country, painting, and feed apples to his pig.

Churchill said this about his pig:

“Dogs, look up to you, cats look down at you…but a pig looks at you as an equal.”

I told my wife, I wanted to get a pet pig and name him Winston. (We already live in the country,  had the apple trees planted, and since Winston Churchill was now one of my heroes.. it only seemed natural that I should get a pet pig.

I called a local farmer who raises pigs and asked if I could buy a baby pig next time he had some for sale. I forgot to mention I wanted a male, so we came home with a female piglet, whom I tagged “Winston.”

She started out as a 20 pound piglet, and two years later when I finally had to tell her “good-by,” she was pushing 650 pounds.

Here’s some random things about pigs you may or may not know…..

They are highly intelligent…right up there with dolphins and chimps.

They  love to have their belly rubbed/just like a dog.

They are social.

That stereo type about them being dirty is not 100% accurate.  They  don’t have sweat glands so in the summer, hanging out in the mud hole is a way to keep themselves cool.

When pigs are forced to live  in a confined area, they will do their bathroom duties in one area- and keep their nesting area clean.

Here’s another picture of her eyes that I find almost haunting….

There is intelligence behind those eyes.

beautiful eyes2

I miss her still….

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Winston

  1. All this time, i didn’t realize Winston was a she, or that she was named after that very famous he. We do build relationships with our animals, don’t we? I still miss my squirrel — which may or may not quality me as squirrely.

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      • Much more recently. Ummm…. 1990-1998, I believe. Or maybe 1992-2000. I get so confused. Anyway, he was eight years old when he died. He was rescued as an eye-still-shut baby, and grew up to be the source of multiple tales. He liked orange popsicles and David Letterman, hid pecans in our shoes, and once ran off two young missionaries. The best line of that encounter? “Ma’am, do you know you have a squirrel on top of your door?”

        He went sailing, and went to work with me while he was still too young to be left alone. Good child care is so hard to find.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Such intelligent eyes…Winston was gorgeous. Have you read thekitchensgarden.com blog here on wordpress? Sustainable farming somewhere near Chicago. Cecilia has a boar who has eyes just like this, as well as Poppy and Sheila, the big fat pig, who is amazing. There are also a male and female KuneKune running around the farm. I have become very partial to pigs since reading that blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As she grew, we bought a series of dog harnesses…and would take walks with her up and down our gravel road. I loved to watch the expressions on peoples faces who would drive by when we were out with her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Must admit from the picture showing teats I thought Winston was a she. Magnificent animal. My uncle had a pig, but he was a farmer, so for different reasons. I can just see you taking Winston for a walk! Lovely tale.

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  4. I loved the story and that last picture. We had pigs on the farm, too, and I agree – they were highly intelligent. If they ever got out of their enclosure there was simply no getting them in – until they were ready to go in of course. And – there’s nothing cuter than little baby pigs running together, stopping suddenly and then off they go — a favorite memory from childhood! MJ

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