Archived Story

Pigs and people

Published 10:56am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I watched them. It was new. A bowling ball. An old bowling ball.

Thrown in with a pen of hogs. Those pigs took to it immediately. What was this new apparatus?

They sniffed and poked and grunted. They smelled and prodded and tasted.

The hard, round black object was the subject of fascination as each competed for the chance to play with this novel entity in their territory. Some tried to step on it while others tried to bury it.

They pushed it left and right and into each other. It seemed to push back at their fruitless efforts to control its direction as they were mesmerized by the uniqueness of the thing.

Round and round, back and forth, over and underneath it went, as if on an endless random invisible track.

A few days later I ambled by. There sat the bowling ball in the corner. No one was pushing it, touching it or playing with it. It just sat there, motionless, biding its time. Go figure.

I watched them. Just happened to be outside. Saw them when they pulled it into the driveway. Boy, that thing was shiny.

A sleek new boat. Must have been 25-feet long if it was one, and smooth as the wind. It glistened in the noonday sun, standing proud in their driveway, showcasing potential speed with gorgeous beauty.

The exultant owners walked around, surveying their new possession. They prodded and poked and pointed. They examined the underbelly, running their hands down the slick surface while imagining the potential of such power on the open waters.

Fingerprints were wiped off and children not allowed too close. The inside was spotless, containing all the latest conveniences.

Yessirree, that baby was a beaut. Should cut through the water like a butter knife while sending someone’s hair flowing in the wind.

I saw that boat the other day. Sitting out the back. Had one flat trailer tire. A little rust here and there. Windshield smudged. Weeds growing up underneath. Kids playing around it. Seemed kind of lonely out there by itself. It just sat there motionless, biding its time. Go figure.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.

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