Strange Happenings on Muddy Creek

Strange incidents on Muddy Creek, involving drunk pigs and stubborn bulls

| April 2000

As I look back to those long-ago days on Muddy Creek, I recall some incidents that folks today might call strange, but really, we just took them in stride with maybe a "tish tish" or a "how 'bout that?" 

Take the time Dad had built the new silo and filled it for the first time. He had been told to cut the corn pretty much in the "roasting ear" stage. When he did, the sap soon oozed out around the chute doors and trickled out into the barnyard. In a few days, the hot fall sun heated this potent "corn squeezin's" to a fermentation stage, and sure enough, the alcohol content got higher and higher.

For a while, it smelled pretty good, too. In fact, one of the silo filling crew sampled it, and found it was getting "a mite strong." The farm advisor had been spending considerable time at the farm watching this operation. He was much interested in this 60-foot structure: It was the tallest silo yet erected in the county, and some folks thought there was no blower powerful enough to blow cut corn up into it. When he saw the drainage, he cautioned everyone that wood alcohol was poison, and if you drank it, you could very well die, or, at the very least, go blind.

This was during the time of "the noble experiment" of Prohibition, and all the saloons were closed. A great many still harbored the memory of "the good old days." I suspect that Old Wade had sampled most everything that offered a "kick": Home brew, white lightning, lemon extract and even canned heat, but this dire warning stayed him for a spell.

I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was when the old Hampshire sow found an opening in the fence and got to that seepage. She must have sent out a message to all her family, for in a short time, the whole pen of pigs was there slopping up that seepage and enjoying every snort of it. By the time Dad got to them, they were one happy family. Talk about someone making a hog of themselves ... those pigs sure did. Dad had to get several of the neighbors to come help drive them back into the pen. In fact, they had to drag a couple back, for they had already passed out, and when Dad remembered what the Farm Advisor had said, he figured he had a bunch of dead or dying hogs on his hands.

An amusing thing happened at this same time when MaMa found one of her full-grown Plymouth Rock roosters laying under the wagon rack and she knew it was dead or was "agonna be," so rather than let it go to waste, she quickly grabbed it up, tied its feet to a fence post and dry picked that bird for supper. Just as she was getting ready to split him open, that rooster opened his eyes, gave a squawk and started into flopping so hard that he broke the string that she had tied him with, and for a long time, that "naked as a jaybird" rooster ran around the farm. Cross my heart!


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