What IS it with bacon? Anything of the pork persuasion. Honestly. Why does it have to be so wicked good?

Vermont is a primarily rural state, so here it would not be considered an odd thing to tell you that I wake at times to the sound of squealing from the gaggle of piglets at the bottom of the road where I live. A local farmer is raising an heirloom breed of hog and this spring his two sows gave birth to nineteen adorable little piglets. When I first saw them I admit I was the one squealing because there are few things cuter than fuzzy pink piglets with their blond eyelashes and ringlet tails.

They are now strapping juveniles and not as irresistibly cute, but still appealing in their way. I visit them often on my hikes which take me past their sprawling estate of pigdom. A few days ago I paid my usual visit and the bevy of teenage pigs were all in veritable heaven. The northeast gets its good share of precipitation so the ground is soft and wet which makes for pigs their very favourite thing which is mud.

I walked up on them and you would have thought I caught a couple teams of little leaguers with their paws in the proverbial cookie jar. All heads popped up and gave a snort of alarm in unison. Thirty-eight pairs of wide, dainty eyes stared back at me hovering over mud and weed-covered snouts, the whole lot of them knee deep in earthy goo and frozen, caught red-hooved as it were, as if they were doing something clandestine. Hide the truffles! I imagine one of them saying.

After assessing 1) that I was no threat and 2) that I had not brought food, they went right back to avidly rooting in the mud, uttering contented snorts as they dug. I watched them for a time. These fortunate pigs have a good acre or more of wild land to romp in, trees, brush and mud, plenty of tasty meals and shelter; they have a happy and good pig life.

Which makes me feel a little less guilty for liking bacon so much.

To be continued…


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