Do Piglets Go To Heaven

Our piglet’s grave site and stone marker

Yesterday one of our piglets died. Another one is sick and hopefully is on the mend but, like an infant, it can’t tell us what’s going on so we wait and care for it as best we can. And we hope. When people say that farming is hard, this kind of thing is what they should be referring to. There is no hiding from it in glass towers and concrete jungles or digital worlds. I’ve taken on the care of other creatures, and one of our pigs died. And I feel terrible.

And it was nothing we did; it was nature. It was a disease that can attack young pigs and it just so happens that it found our drift of piglets. And we’ve been told that we’ve gone above-and-beyond to help the poor things. Because that’s just what you do, right? You try to do the right thing. And one of our piglets died and another one is sick. And the sun comes up and the squash, basil and mint seedlings need transplanting and the geese need chasing and lunch has to find its way onto the table and the goat shed needs building because they’re coming soon.

We buried our little piglet on a slope with a stone to mark the spot. It won’t be the last headstone, I’m sure. And every time it happens it will be momentous and upsetting, and mundane and upsetting. It’s the end of the day and the convalescing piglet is showing signs of improvement, sitting up and readily drinking water but not eating yet. And I’ll do what needs doing because that’s what you do. I choose this. I choose to live in the messiness of existence, to face it, to work with it, to embrace it, to learn from it. And goddammit, it really sucks sometimes.