Mr. Squeals

Mr. Squeals

You know you’ve come up with a good name for a pig when it’s impossible to say with a straight face. Looking forward to this summer when I’ll be saying goodbye to my pig friends, I thought I should buckle down and name them before they start their new life at Peace Ridge Sanctuary. Mona has been Mona from the very beginning, but I’ve resisted naming the rest of them until now. Appropriate pig names, however, are not easy to come by even though I’ve known them for almost two years. The exception, though, is Mr. Squeals, a pig never at a loss for something to say. A couple of weeks ago, after a significant amount of time snow-bound in their shelter, the wider pasture was frozen but snow free, and the pigs were able to stretch their stubby legs and wander around. Mr. Squeals, clearly excited by the freedom to roam, let out a few deep throated barks, primitive and dog-like, before tearing around at top speed. After a short rest, he did it again, barking and sprinting, while the rest of the pigs went about their business without a glance in Mr. Squeals’ direction. While this is unusual behavior even for Mr. Squeals, it’s hard not to notice that he wishes to make himself heard on any number of topics. If he’s hungry or wants attention, he lets you know. Maybe he feels slighted by his rank within the herd. Even though he’s the only other male besides Mona, I would place him at fourth out of six. Perhaps all his squealing is an effort to assert himself. In any case, he’s a funny pig, and his name suits him perfectly.

Winter update: The pigs have been eating a lot this winter. More hay than last winter. I keep cramming it into their shelter, and they both eat it and bury themselves in it to stay warm. I have noticed, though, that the layers and layers of compacted hay in their shelter are providing them with a natural in-floor heating system. Dig down through several inches of hay and you’ll find warmth emanating from a composting layer at the very bottom. Lift the flap to their shelter on a cold morning, and you’ll notice how cozy and warm it is inside.

Today I’ll be writing a check to Peace Ridge Sanctuary for $3175 and sending it off with a note about strategies for barn building this summer. That’s the sum of my GoFundMe campaign. Then there’ll be a Pig Roast Fundraiser, a final send off, some time in July/August. I’ve been kitchen testing veggie burgers all winter, and trying, without much success, to think of funny things to say about my pigs. I’m fully aware that when it comes to roasting, I’m a much softer and richer target. I’m sure Mr. Squeals would have something to say about it.

2 Replies to “Mr. Squeals”

  1. Very sad to hear. If only there were a bridge across the stream, Mona and Mr Squeals and friends would be welcome here any time. Our loss is Peace Ridge’s gain.

  2. Perhaps if you think of a theme for names. At first pass, it seems difficult to find a theme that encompasses both Mr Sqeals and Mona but here is a little info that might make it happen…One of my finest friends shares the name Mona. When we were in the college dating scene, she would often come home completely non-plussed when some guy, thinking he was oh so witty, would ask, “Hey Mona, are you a mona in bed?” So there you have it…your theme can be names based on sounds. The choices are boundless–susurrus, whisper, gasp, chortle, yelp, boing, zzzip!, thunder, gale, wail, scream, giggle, sigh, guffaw, crunch, smack, clap, …

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