My Pig Joke

by Regis Boff

Pigs are convincing evidence that humans do not care about the feelings of food if it tastes good.
What follows is a joke that is more than it seems. I first heard it when I was maybe nine or ten years old. I have never heard it told again by anyone but me for sixty years. I memorized it and have used it at dinner parties to woo bright women who occasionally possessed a sense of humor. When I was young, it did not matter so much that they did. That took time.
The joke.
A guy is walking on a country road and comes to a farmhouse. On the porch sits a farmer, and next to him, relaxed a pig. The farmer was reading to it from a book. The pig snuggled tightly into him.
The pig had a wooden leg.
Curious, with reason, the traveler asked the farmer how this pig came by such a leg.
The tenant recounted to him that this pig had saved his life twice, pointing while he spoke to a burned section of the home.
“My wife and I got trapped while asleep in our bedroom as flames from the kitchen headed upstairs. This pig, ( he hugs the creature as he speaks), rushed through the fire and led us out.
The traveler​, let it be reliably​ said, was astonished and wanted to understand more clearly, of course, so he asked, “How was this pig able to run to you on such a mangled leg?”
“No, no,” the farmer insisted​, “he didn’t hurt his leg at all.”
The storyteller now warmed to his tale, “ But you know the damnedest thing happened after that. I was fishing in my boat, and this terrible rain and wind knocked me right off and into the water. Now I ain’t never been much a swimmer, and I was making a ruckus, when this pig arrived at the shore, jumped into the water, and swam back with me, my collar in his mouth. He saved my life once again.”
The farmer sat silently for an emotional minute like country people are often moved to do.
Respecting his country contemplation for as long as he could, the traveler finally could not restrain his prying. He said, maybe louder than he should have, “You know you never told me how this pig got that wooden leg.”
The farmer looked at him with an odd and amused condescension. He answered,
“Son, you just can’t eat a pig like this all at once.”