A Good Deed is not Forgotten..

We had some characters on the Prairie when I was growing up. One in particular lived to the east and a little to the south of us. My Dad had been telling about this individual but apparently I hadn’t listened too well or had thought he was just pulling my leg. He was always telling me something to see how I would react, I think he didn’t want me to grow up believing everything someone said. I think he did not want a naïve child.

He announced one day we were going over to this man’s house and asked if I’d like to ride along. Of course I did. When we arrived what I thought was the man’s house had a door wide open and the pigs were making themselves at home in and out of the house. I was probably about 8 years old at the time so I innocently said, “Dad I thought you said Mr. so-in-so lived here, but all I see is a house made into a pigpen. He grinned that grin of his and said let’s go see if he’s around. He headed straight for the pigpen house and hollered out our neighbor’s name. My mouth must have fell to my feet when a voice hollered, “Come on in Bill.” Sure enough there was our neighbor sitting at the dirtiest kitchen table I’d ever seen drinking coffee. My Dad said something about the pigs and our neighbor said,

Dang pigs make themselves right at home.
purdy pig

CC image “RIKKI’S REFUGE PIGS!” courtesy of Rikki’s Refuge on Flickr

Another neighbor to the north of us kept his animals so long some of them died of old age. I am not talking about a horse or a dog. I’m talking about feed animals, I’m talking about a pig.  We went to his place and there was a boar(male) pig, no other pigs on the place. Now this was not a pet pig. This pig slept in the haystack and was at least 6 feet long and had tusks that were probably 4 inches long. He had a hairy face with slits for eyes, what a scary looking beast. I have never seen a pig that big or old before or since. The old boy said he didn’t have the heart to take him to market.

Crites family homestead

Barn over my shoulder and a real pen for pigs to the left of the picture

This man was a little younger than my Dad and he was a lifetime bachelor. He had a hired hand and a cook but his place was a shambles. He was really quite shy and didn’t have a lot of contact with anyone account he lived way out north of town. The only time he went to town was for groceries, maybe once or twice a month. We went to his house that day after looking at the giant pig, and the fellow started telling me how my Dad had stood up to bullies when they were in grade school because of him. He said he was an awkward country kid who wore hand me down clothes and old boots.  The town kids were teasing him about the way he dressed and talked. My Dad cleared them out and there was no more teasing. This was at least 40 or 45 years before and you could tell by the emotion in his voice how grateful he was so many years later. I learned a valuable lesson that day from an old country boy. Don’t tell me good deeds go unnoticed.


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