|The Critically Endangered Red Wattle Hog. To save|
him is to eat him
I will admit...I considered pretending I wasn't home.
The knocking continued. I stood up and plodded my way to the kitchen door. There was friend and fellow farmer Kim Snyder of Faith's Farm. She was very excited. " 175 pounds...They called...dropped out...farmer...they need another pig... you have pig ?!?!...A heritage hog...its big really big... going to call right back...its big this thing...gotta know now...big...Keith said you to talk to.."
After throwing enough ice water in her face to get her to complete a few sentences, her phone rang. "Yes Michael, she's right here." (See, the ice water worked. A common misconception is the need to slap a hysterical woman. I find that action to be overkill and not as much fun as the shock of the ice water trick.) Back to the phone. Enter Michael Sullivan AKA The Reverend of Fat. Really that's what he said his name was. Turns out he was one of the coordinator on this years Cochun 555 event , THE pork event of the year. Read more here http://www.cochon555.com/ Briefly the event involves 5 top chefs, 5 heritage hogs, 5 top wines, tons of media and lots of fun.
I knew nothing of such an event. Never even heard of Mr. Cucucachu or his 555 porcine friends. Turns out though that our friend Kim knew about it as she had been asked to deliver one of her heritage hogs for the event. This morning after dropping off that hog at the Chenoa locker she dropped by our house to buy some milk. As she was leaving her phone rang and a very upset and worried "Reverend" called to tell her one of the other farmers who was supposed to provide a hog for the event was suddenly unable to and, here's the really good part, did she know anyone else who raised heritage hogs ?
That is why she turned back around (livestock trailer and all) and ended up banging on my back door at the crack of dawn . (8 am for me is indeed the crack of dawn. I may be awake at 6am but I do not begin to compute until 10 am and the coffee pot is sucked dry) So, long story abort...I agreed to the request, honored to be asked even if we were runners up. Keith and I went to the barn , picked out the perfect hog with nice wobbly wattles and a "winning !" smile that would make even Charlie Sheen proud, and escorted him onto the trailer.
The weird thing was, this Red Wattle was in a pen with 20 other hogs and when we came into the barn he just walked up to the gate like he was happy to be Dead Ham Walking. We opened the gate, he sauntered down the barn aisle and even took enough time to pause at the end of the trailer, turn and wave to his friends left back in the barn ! I told you it was weird.