In a couple months my family will celebrate five years of living in our current house. We basically moved from one side of the family land (where our first home was located) to the other (with a house or two outside the confines of the farm thrown in for good measure). I really do enjoy living here. I love our home and, even though I gripe about it each and every time I mow, I’m quite fond of our yard. Truthfully, there are times it feels as if we’re living in a state park. We are surrounded by beautiful farmland which I can admire from the comfort, safety and convenience of my porches with nary a worry about foul smelling cow patties or those other offensive items of a like nature mentioned in a previous post.
One thing I have become fond of over the years is the semi-privacy that is afforded when you live on a larger tract of land. We have few neighbors. People are close enough they can be of help if needed, but not so close I can’t walk out onto my front porch to water some ferns wearing a bathrobe and some Crocs (Note: wearing Crocs on wet concrete can be hazardous to your health and could lead to very humiliating poses).
Don’t get me wrong, I love the neighbors we have. They are truly wonderful. It’s just that I am way too lazy to always be on guard, worried about the state of my appearance or that of my children should we be seen up close on a daily basis - especially in the summer.
Now speaking of neighbors, I probably don’t have to tell you that they are not all created equal. Some are known for the awesome chicken salad they bring to get-togethers, some are known for inviting your children over to play, while others are known for being ever ready to lend a helping hand, which could include helping out with a mechanical issue or even driving your very shaky teenage daughter home after she runs off the road and nearly flips your SUV into the creek.
However, every once in awhile you may encounter a different species of neighbor - one that you hope someday moves and takes with him/her all the reasons you’re wanting them to move in the first place. We once shared a stretch of road with just such a person.
This man wasn’t from here originally. I think he may have even come from up North. Gasp! A Yankee! Anyway, he wasn’t much on yard work or picking up his trash each week after he would set it out and his dogs (which were kept unleashed and would visit us quite often) would tear the bags to shreds and scatter the contents of said bags to the four winds, even when one wind crossed onto our land. And though I believe he fancied himself a farmer on some level, there was much left to be desired when it came to his farming know-how, particularly in the department of building/maintaining fences. We probably would never have known about this deficiency if it weren’t for the horses we would routinely find grazing in our front yard and the dozens of hoofprints left behind. Ahhhhh. Good times. Good times.
Well, one day “Crawl” felt the need to expand his non-farming skills and he bought him some pigs. He even built a pen for his new pets. It didn’t take long, though, for him to realize he may have made a mistake and that a call for help needed to be made. Scott, another of our neighbors, was the lucky recipient of that very call.
When he arrived, Scott found the pigs wandering about the man’s yard. Turns out, our former neighbor’s flaw had been this...when unloading his piggies he failed to back his truck up to the pen and, instead, just pulled his truck into the drive and let them out right then and there. I guess he thought they would react like dogs and obediently follow him into their new home. However, pigs are not dogs. Indeed, they are not. Maybe it’s that they realized on some level their new pad was just a temporary stop on the way to ending up as the B in someone’s BLT, but they were not budging. So, he sought help.
Upon assessing the situation Scott knew immediately what could be done to lure the little piggies all the way home. Corn.
“Do you have any corn”, he asked the man. “Corn? You bet. I have lots of corn.” “Well, go get some and we’ll lead them in with that.”
Dutifully following his deliverer’s suggestion, the man returned a minute later carrying the corn...CANNED CORN! I kid you not. Like Green Giant or something.
Now, friends, even yours truly here would have known better than that. I think.