( Intermediate Level )

Being the runt of the litter, Oliver was not thought to survive. He surprised everyone with his strong will.

Knowing her husband she responded with, “He has had the will to live for this long, so we just need to leave him be. You never know. Someone may want him.”

He grunted then took a sip of his morning coffee. He finished his breakfast and would soon tend to his morning chores.

Martha Jean cleared the table from the morning’s meal and kissed Ben on his forehead. ” I am going into town this morning with Selma. Do you need to pick up anything for you?”

He shook his head no as he stood up and walked his coffee cup to the sink. “I will be out most of the day. I have to stretch a new wire in the west pasture then fix a few of the boards around the pens. There are some broken boards and before you know it we will have pigs running amuck.

Martha Jean kissed her husband one last time as she gathered her purse to leave. Her husband grabbed his hat and work gloves and followed her out.

“See you tonight then. I am not sure how long I will be. You know Selma. She loves to shop!” He smiled as he pulled on his gloves.

As his wife drove out of the gate Benjamin looked around. He gathered the tools he would need for the fencing when he noticed the pig pen. The bottom rail was down. He knew he needed to fix this before he did anything.

As he approached it with tools in hand he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. It was the runt. He had escaped.

Benjamin was too old to chase after this little escapee. He felt this little one was not worth the headache.

He mended the rail under the watchful eye of this little creature. Every so often Benjamin would say something to him. Whatever that piglet was doing at that time, he stopped as if he was listening to him.

Benjamin found himself smiling. “Am I crazy to talk to you? Or am I more crazy thinking you are actually listening?” He sighed and headed to his truck.

He was leaving later than he wanted to the pasture but he knew he needed to fix what he did, now, otherwise, he may come back to a disaster.

Hours had passed and the sun would be setting soon. Benjamin looked at his watch and knew he needed to finish up quickly. His wife should be heading home since she doesn’t like driving when it gets dark. His chickens, his goats, and his pigs would need to be fed.

Twenty minutes had passed and he was finally finished. He packed up his tools and headed home. Somehow he skipped lunch and he was extremely hungry. His stomach growls reminded him.

He drove near the barn where he stored the feed for the animals. He gathered hay, grain, and pellets to feed all.

As he approached the house he saw his wife’s car. How he hoped she was preparing supper. He was starving.

He stopped first at the chicken coop to throw the scratch grain and check their water levels. He gathered a few eggs they had laid after he collected in the morning. He carefully placed them in a container until he got to the house. He always kept it there just for this purpose.

The next stop was his goats. He gave them a few flakes of hay just to tide them over to the morning. Now that the wire to the west pasture was repaired he would be able to turn them out to graze the next day.

Next, and final stop, were the pigs. His sow and her babies would be waiting for the nightly grain. They came running to the side of their pens snorting, wanting their food.

He fed them and looked around at the babies. How they were growing. Many were about twenty-five to thirty pounds already. In another few months, he would be able to sell them for a good amount of money.

The money earned from any young chicks. piglets or kid goats helped keep him in feed for the season and a little went into his pocket.

He looked around the outside of the fence to see if he could spot the escapee from earlier that day. Surely the smells of the grains would lure him in. He was nowhere to be found.

He shrugged it off and headed to wash up for dinner. He could smell the delicious meal his wife was preparing from outside. His stomach growled louder.

He entered the mud room and took off his work boots. His wife disliked him wearing them in the house. They were usually full of mud and such. She didn’t like to clean her floors afterward.

As he hung up his hat and placed his work gloves nearby he heard his wife talking. He figured she was on the telephone.

He entered and went straight to the sink to wash for dinner. As he was rinsing his hands he felt a nudge on his leg. He looked down to see that scrawny little piglet by his side.

What on earth is he doing inside? I thought the hawks got him since he didn’t have the safety of his momma.”

“Well, he came running to me when I pulled in this afternoon. Poor little thing was thirsty and hot. I picked him up and brought him inside.”

“You could have put him over the fence and let him be with the rest of them. Now I will have to put my boots back on to take him outside.”

“You will do no such thing, Benjamin. Oliver will stay with me. I will care for him until he gets a little bigger.”

“What? You named him? Why?”

” I told you someone would want that little guy as she looked down at Oliver. Well that someone is me. I have always had a special place in my heart for the underdogs. After all, I married you.” As she said that she kissed him on the cheek.

He scoffed and sat down to eat. Over dinner, he told her of the day’s events, starting with the wood rail of the pig pen. He told her how he talked to Oliver. At that time he was nameless but he felt the little guy understood.

She sat there and smiled as she looked at him then again at Oliver. She knew her husband was softening and Oliver would stay on their little homestead, getting bigger and fatter.

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Like Martha Jean, I appreciate all animals. I truly believe those which are unwanted or tossed aside, turn out to be the best pet, by far.

If you appreciate what I do and would like to support me:


runt – noun: smallest in a litter

the will to live – expression: determined to live

chores – noun: routine tasks

amuck – adverb: chaos and disorder

rail – noun: a bar or series of bars, typically fixed on upright supports, serving as part of a fence or barrier

escapee – noun: a person or animal who has escaped

not worth the headache – idiom: not worth discussing, not worth the thought or trouble 

piglet – noun: baby or young pig

coop – noun: a cage or pen for confining poultry

tide them over – phrasal verb: be sufficient until something changes

sow – noun: adult female pig

lure – verb: tempt

mud room – noun: a small room or entryway where footwear and outerwear can be removed before entering a house

nudge – verb: a light touch or push

scrawny – adjective: unattractively thin and bony

underdogs – noun: little chance to win, survive

scoffed -verb: speak to someone or about something in a scornfully or mocking way

homestead – noun: a house, especially a farmhouse, and outbuildings

Question ( s ):

Does/did Oliver deserve the chance to survive?

Have you ever adopted a pet that was unwanted? Maybe from a shelter?

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