My time with Sheila the pig
When told that as the senior class vice president I would have to get the pig for the Texas Arkansas pep rally, I thought no big deal.
I thought it would be a fun little adventure that I would store away until I reminisce with future friends. No big deal. I thought that when I went to “reserve” a pig that day, it would be the last time I saw the pig until August 31, the Texas vs. Arkansas pep rally. No big deal.
I was wrong.
I drove to Maud with Chris Courson, Tommy Paolucci and our tag-along PG friend Avery Borrell. We went through the town, passed the old Crystal Springs to a floppy cardboard sign that said, “Hogs and Pigs.” The smell of rednecks and outhouses smothered the bumpy dirt road leading up to a trailer.
Nauseous and confused, we got out of the car and found our way to the pig pin where a teenage country boy showed us the pigs. He pointed in the direction of the small pigs to show me that there were only two baby pigs that were small enough for me to hold and for the teacher to kiss. Scared that they would be taken in the two weeks between then and the pep rally, I acted in what I thought was best. I decided to take the small pink pig home with me.
He picked up the pig by one leg, hog tied it and set it in the back of my Xterra. Not a Jeep. Not a truck. Not any sort of vehicle suitable for the situation. My grey (newly cleaned) Xterra.
I had a top-notch plan, my family has a lab who has recently become an inside dog, leaving his backyard pin vacant. It’s concrete, has a little igloo looking dog house and a high fence around it. Perfect place for a pet pig.
That’s not what my mom thought.
She was furious. The emoji with the red face, is my memory of the conflict. And if my mom’s reaction was one emoji red face, my dad’s was about 10 mad emoji faces.
The first day was a breeze. I hung out with my little piggy for a while, got in some bonding time, fed her a little bit and then would go inside and wash the horrendous smell off my body. After quite a few showers, I decided to face the unfaceable. I decided to give my pig a bath.
There are these childhood books called “To give a moose a muffin” or “To give a mouse a cookie.” If I was to write one of those books it would go a little something like this:
When you give a pig a bath,
She fights to get away.
When she fights to get away,
You run after her looking like a buffoon.
When you run after her looking like a buffoon,
You get mud all over you.
When you get mud all over you,
You try harder to give her a bath.
When you try harder to give her a bath,
She squeals at the top of her lungs.
When she squeals at the top of her lungs,
She deafens everyone around her.
Giving my pig a bath was possibly one of the worst experiences I have ever had. It was like watching a little kid get shots. You know they need shots (or the bath) but it kills you to watch it. This is the first way my pig became my child.
Well since I was already attached I thought, we might as well give her a name. And so began the endless stream of stupid names; Babe, Wilber, Wilba, Miss Piggy, and finally the worst, my dad’s idea, Sizzle.
Brianna Sellers came over to play with her one day and came up with possibly the best name this pig could have. Sheila. So classy, so elegant, so perfectly pig. And it stuck. Soon after, TigerVision and STUCO members were referring to my baby as Sheila, the Texas Arkansas Pig.
This “fun little adventure” grew fast. I fed her pellets and cream corn, her favorite, everyday. She gained about 7 pounds in 2 weeks. So the day of the pep rally didn’t go too well. She was heavy. She was scared and she was pooping on me. Little does anyone know that under those towels, and thank goodness there were towels, she was pooping. Embarrassing to say the least.
But no matter her faults, she was such a good pig, and a great pet. She earned a special place in Texas High History, as first pig to be a pet before the pep rally. And I don’t have to take her back to be slaughtered; I found Sheila a home. A home on a farm, where she can hopefully run and play and be happy. In the end, this will be a memory of my senior year that I have forever, my two weeks with the Texas Arkansas Pig.