hat’s what my great-uncle Leander used to say to me and my siblings when we would hang around his wood-shop at the farm, when I was very young. When my folks moved onto the farm, my great-uncle retained some space to tinker around and build things in. Us kids would just stand in front of the shop’s screen door and peer in to see what he was doing. If he didn’t like us hanging around there, I don’t know why he gave us candy nearly every time. Maybe he didn’t read enough B.F. Skinner.
One day when me and my brother Tim appeared outside his door, he asked us if we ever rode our pigs that lived in a pen beside the shop. Tim and I looked at him incredulously. “Oh sure”, he went on, “Just like a horse, it’s great fun. And those piglets there are just your size. I think you ought to try it.” Eventually, he convinced Tim, who I would guess to be 5 at the time, to try to ride a pig. So I watched Tim climb over the pig pen fence and straddle a young pig, and then I watched him fall right off into a big mud puddle. I don’t remember if Leander came out of the shop to watch or not, but I saw enough so that when Tim then tried to convince me to have a go at it, I would not.
Speaking of turkeys, here’s a not-great picture of the big flock of turkeys that has been hanging out in our gardens. There is about 30 of them, 3 hens and their adolescent children, and they decimated our grapes this year. My brother Joe picked some to make wine from and thought something might be eating them. When my mom finally caught the culprits in the act, and decided she had better pick what was to be had, there wasn’t much left. We used to raise wild turkeys here at the farm among a myriad of other birds, and whenever some wild ones wandered near the yard, my Dad would scheme of ways to try to catch them. But we only tried once, and never did catch any.