Please read below an excerpt from a book I have written. Portions have been published. I would love your comments, good or bad. Thanks I was continually urged by my father to be more aggressive when dealing with the few animals we had on our farmette. He was so certain that he could make me the model farm boy, that when I was about 7 years old, he bought me a pig that we raised along with our other sty occupants. I named the pig Spot because of the large spot on his side. Please understand that in my book of animal etiquette, pigs, dogs and even cows deserve to have names but chickens and roosters are not worthy of such respect. They are born to be eaten, very stupid, hence their name fowl. Even the name fowl is descriptive of their intellect and dispositions. I suppose we had been feeding Spot about six months when, as I played near the pig lot, my father summoned me to the sty. "Well, Jim!" Dad excitedly said, "Old Spot has really grown hasn't he?" The small pig that we had purchased earlier had grown into an adult hog of well over 100 pounds. I took pride in feeding him when I was occasionally allowed to slop him myself. I beamed as he rooted in the ground around his wallow hole. Dad was standing in the sty, scratching Spot. The hog was obviously enjoying this and grunted his approval. Then Daddy asked me to join him. "Come on over here and scratch him, Jim", he said eagerly. "No Dad. You're doing a great job." I said. He insisted again. "Come on, Jim! He's your hog, you know! Do I succumb to my fears and allow a farm animal that outweighed me by perhaps 50 pounds, to deny me of my lifelong treasure of the golden farm boy award? Do I take the plunge and risk bodily harm at the hands of my overstuffed pet? Again I was faced with a pivotal decision. I chose the latter. I stepped into the sty and my dad once again showed me how to scratch Spot. "Just dig right down into his side, Dad said proudly. He stepped out of the enclosure as I began to scratch the pig. Spot grunted approval, as I scratched, and soon began to embellish my scratching with his own movements. As I scratched to his front, he would lean backwards. Soon the simple scratching became somewhat of a tug of war between Spot and me. Well, a tug of war in the sense that I was tugging to keep his body off of mine. You know, pigs are a lot like people. The more we get the more we want. We are rarely content with our stations in life. When we reach the top of the hill, the summit of our careers, there is always one more victory to attain. So it was with Spot and the pleasure he derived from my scratching. As I dug into Spot's side, he began to lean heavily into me. His leaning was so insistent, that I tried to hold him back with my left hand. I soon found the weight of Spot more than I could handle. I only weighed in at 60 pounds, myself. I'm not sure what happened next. What I do recall is feeling the mud from the wallow hole seep into my ears and my Dad standing there laughing. I was shouting and Spot was struggling to get to his feet. Finally, I felt Dad's hands grasp mine and he pulled me from the smelly mud. My mother was soon standing there with obvious horror on her face, scolding my father for finding humor in such a disastrous situation. I guess I would have laughed too if I hadnt been the victim. The next three weeks were daily baths, daily perfuming sessions, and daily reminders from Mom to, "Stay out of large crowds or closed rooms at school." This was perhaps one of my most embarrassing moments on the farmette. To this day I am certain that Spot, long ago bacon on our table, became so relaxed from my continuous scratching that he just fell asleep onto my frail body. I don't think it was an intentional tumble, as committed by the rooster. It was, however, another grand stumbling block as I struggled to commit my waking hours to the honorable Madisonian occupation of farming.