Another Pig Tale..

My friend Billy in Alabama says he loves a good pig story and so do I. I worked on the old Railroad for 30 some years and one early morning at around 4am in the switch shanty the conversation went like this: Teddy C. my engineer says,

Do any of you smart Rails know anything about castrating pigs?

Well anyone who has worked for more than one day on the Railroad knows there are experts on everything in the ranks.. You can get advice on the law, doctoring, politics and this particular 4am conversation I was the resident expert on castrating.

Of course I know what you need to know, I says… I’ve been castrating pigs since I can’t remember when. Why I’ve castrated 100’s of pigs and never, ever had a fatality.

Bragging aside “most” of what I said was true, I had been the family fixer of boar pigs since I was about 7 or 8. I was elected because my Dad didn’t like the job and my Ma didn’t either do it the way he wanted or she couldn’t hold a squealing pig still enough for him to do it right. So I was elected.

CC image “Farm pig 3“, courtesy of ewf.gloria on Flickr.

Armed with a new Gillette razor blade with tape on one side(so you didn’t cut yourself) and a shaky hand I did the job, while my Dad held the pig.  Not a hard job, just a couple of slits (making sure you cut low enough), couple of slices, then put the homemade disinfectant of warm water and Lysol on the wound.. Soon I was the homegrown expert and yes I did it many, many times.

My friend Teddy C. the engineer said, ” Well Mr. I have about 8 or 9 big pigs needing your attention.” I should have opted out right then as I knew the older the subject got the more attached he was so to speak to his jewelry. But no there was no way to back out now so I raised my hand, puffed out my chest and said, ” You have found yourself a knife-wielding hombre who has never had a patient escape or die without the proper absence of his possessions.”

The next afternoon after a little sleep we proceeded to operate. If you have ever tried to hold a pig down on his back by the hind legs by sitting on top of said pig it is a struggle to say the least. It is a job when they are small and wiry, but let me tell you it’s one helluva a job when they are not little any more.  The pigs we operated on were past due when they should have lost their family jewels. We got the job done with many a struggle and an abundance of squealing and some swearing(not by the pigs). Teddy provided me, the expert, with a new-fangled holder for long razor blades and a disinfectant that came from the vet in an aerosol spray can. The next night at work Teddy announced we had lost 2 patients , a 3rd was down, and the vet had been called in.

I retired that night from my former master surgeon job. I’d obviously  lost my touch and my license to operate surely would be revoked. I would like to state I never bragged or volunteered  again, but that would not be the Railroad way or yours truly.

If you liked this…here are a few more of my pig tales!

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