River

This story occurred about two years ago.

It was a cool day in June when one of my father’s kayaking buddies came to visit.  Heavy rains had barraged the countryside for the past several weeks.  The weather had just started clearing up, and my dad and his company decided to view how much the river had swelled.  Forty-five minutes post their departure, I was sent to find and retrieve them for supper.

I slipped on an overshirt and walked out the door.  The wind whipped in my face and hair as I tread on the soft earth towards the river.  When I reached the edge of the overflowing water, I called out.  “Dad!  Dan!  Dinner’s ready!”  In front of me, an island protruded from the river.  My call was answered by a shrill, high pitched screech from the island.  Naturally curious, I found a shallow spot in the water, and made my was across.  The screech continued, and seemed to be coming from behind a cypress tree.  I peered around the massive trunk, I saw that nothing was there!  The frantic, unnatural cry continued, and I continued to wonder what was making it.  Then I saw something scrambling up and down a gravel bank on the opposite side of the fast flowing stream.  I peered more intently.  It was a pig!  It was a baby pig!  The first thing I thought was, “Oh look.  A piglet…”  but then something else came to mind.  “Oh Shoot!  Where’s the mother??”

The reputation of a mother hog resembles that of a mother bear.  Dangerous and protective.  So I took a step back, looked around for where it could be, and prepared to run or climb a tree.  There were no other pigs.  I watched the pig waddle around in the water squealing and grunting as it tried to find a way out of the frigid waters, fascinated and mesmerized by the odd sight.  It must have fallen off the six foot wall on the opposite bank some time ago.

I realized the sun was going down, and the piglet had no mother to help it out.  It would likely die of hypothermia or simply drown if I ignored it.  It seemed like a cruel waste of a good pig to let it die, so I went ahead and rolled up my sleeves, waded out across the river, and scooped up the soggy little critter.  I tucked it under my arm and continued the search for my father and company.

I eventually found them, and when I did, they got quite a kick out of what I had found.  So I brought home the bacon and nursed the piglet back to health.  I decided to name him River.  I thought it was a fitting name.

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