It typically is a slow news day around here in West Central Minnesota. Not much happens and most of us prefer to keep it that way. I admit, it has taken me almost five years to arrive at this point, but I am here. I won’t live in the hustle and bustle life of the twin cities ever again.
Anyway, since it is slow out here, one of my local newspaper friends was out looking for her next story. She was passing a small local farm and noticed some pigs out in the muddy area by a barn. Upon closer inspection she noticed one pig was a bigger pig. It was a momma pig This pig had obviously been around for a while, but she noticed she only had three legs.
So, she stopped at the farm place and decided to take a look around. There obviously was a story here and maybe there could be more, but she had to find a human being to get a quote, maybe about the pig, maybe there was something bigger going on here.
She knocked on the old, wooden screen door of the classic farm house. You could tell it had been here for years. My friend told me, ‘I’d imagine this farm house has been in the family for generations.’ It was your typical three-story farm house. But back to our story.
My friend sat down with the farmer’s wife and she said, ‘You know how hard it is to find a news story, much less a positive news story around Montevideo. And I was driving by and I saw you have a bunch of pigs, but one of them has only three legs! Why is that?’
The farmer’s wife took a sip of her lemonade and she began, ‘Oh, THAT pig! One day my husband was out in the barn and his hand got caught in the big sliding barn door. I was listening to my music while doing some chores in the house, so I didn’t hear his screams for help. Well, that pig was wallowing in the mud by the barn and she must have heard my husband’s shouts for help. The pain must have been unbearable to make that pig come running!! Luckily, she was all full of mud and that helped my husband get his arm loose from the big door. The pig slathered that mud around until my husband could pull himself free!’
‘Okay. But why..?’ My reporter friend tried to finish her question when the farmer’s wife interupted and continued her story. ‘One time, my husband was out cutting some trees after a bad storm. It happens, as you know, here in Minnesota. We obviously don’t live here because of the nice, calm weather conditions.’ ‘Anyway,’ she continues. ‘My husband was out cleaning up some trees when a log came and pinned his leg to the ground. Now, I know what you’re thinking. With so many things happening to my husband, why do we continue to live in the country on a farm full of so many dangers? Well, we love it here in The Minnesota River Valley. To continue, that three-legged pig came along and she rescued my husband. That pig dug her snout down into the ground and dug down so my husband could free his leg. I have told him time and again how dangerous it is to be out cutting trees and doing all these farm jobs by himself, but he loves it!’
‘Okay, but that still doesn’t tell me why the pig only has three legs.’ My reporter friend said. ‘Oh, I could go on and on about the stories of the many times that pig has saved my husband’s life. She truly is a miracle pig and we love her so much for all she has given us. She has given me more time with my husband.’ The farmer’s wife said through some tears beginning to well up in her eyes.
My reporter friend offered her a fresh Kleenex from her purse. Being a reporter you need to be prepared for the tear-jerkers when a story comes along. Those are the ones that make the front page stories. ‘Emotion sells!’, she always says. But she still didn’t have an answer as to why this particular pig only had three legs.
‘Oh, that pig!’ The farmer’s wife continued. ‘She has saved the love of my life, my husband, more times than I can even remember in the time she has been with us on this farm. I truly have never seen a pig with more talent and abilities to keep my husband out of trouble when he is working alone on this farm. We value that pig so much! Even though she only has three legs.’
‘Well, see! That’s my point!’ My reporter friend said growing somewhat impatient as she had heard now over an hours worth of stories of the heroic deeds that one pig had done, but still no explanation as to why she was a full grown pig with three legs. ‘Was she injured during one of these heroic rescue missions for your husband? Did a veterinarian need to be called for an injury or an infection?! Could the pig have died, but they only needed to amputate a leg?!’ My reporter friend is like Hemmingway, she likes to write her news stories with as much detail as she can to really bring in her readers. She has found it helps people be more personal around here and draws us together. She needed to find out why the pig had three legs, when and how it happened! This could be the paramount of the story!
‘Oh, that pig!’ The farmer’s wife concluded. ‘With as many times as that pig has saved my husband, we value that pig for all her talents and help. She has even given us a liter of new pigs we hope will grow and become as miraculous as their momma. Normally a pig her age would have been brought to slaughter by now, but we need to keep her around as long as possible. A pig like that only comes along once in a lifetime, maybe once ever! She has saved my husband so many times, you don’t really think we would eat that pig all at once, do you?’
And with that, my friend had her story. Front page news and it got her the lead writer job at the paper which covers all of West Central and Southwestern Minnesota! All because of a joke.