Musings from a promise-collector


Let me set up this story for you. I was living in the vast wasteland plains of northwest Iowa, where it was fields for corn as far as the eye could see. There was not a curvy road to be found… anywhere. You only turned the steering wheel when you turned a corner onto another pin-straight road. From where I lived in the tiny town of Boyden (which had only a gas station as the only revenue-making establishment in town), I had a 30-minute drive to my place of employment. Thirty minutes of nothing but fields. Empty fields except for those short 3 months where you saw the corn grow like it was on steroids. It’d be 2 inches tall one day, and 2 feet the next. It was freakishly fast growing corn.

And I worked at a homeschooling company called Alpha Omega. To make the ridiculously boring drive a little less painful, many employees carpooled. We had a carpool of 3 or 4 at the time. The little country road took us past many fields and a few farms. Occasionally we’d see some animals, but most animals are kept in confinements there. We had some interesting encounters with a resident Saint Bernard along our route.

He lived about half-way between our meeting point and work. He was huge. Remember The Beast from the movie The Sandlot? Yeah.. he was big. Many times we would see him while at least a mile off yet (did I mention how flat it is there?), and he’d be in the middle of some field. By the time we got up to his farm, he’d be crossing the road right in front of us. He would have this look in his eye like he was just daring us to try to hit him. One day he stopped in front of my car, causing me to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him – I didn’t want to pay for the damage that the dog could possibly inflict on my Toyota! He just stared me down while I honked at him while proceeding to go around the monster dog.

We were always aware that as we approached this specific farm, that we needed to be on the look-out for the monster dog. One day, as I was taking my turn driving us home I spotted him. It looked like he was running along with what looked like their smaller and whiter Saint Bernard. Upon closer inspection and closer proximity, I realized that this dog was romping along with not another dog… but a pig. And not a small pig, either. This was no cute little Babe. This was a full-grown sow. All 300+ pounds of this massive pig were in motion.  The two were running merrily along in the ditch, side by side.

It was probably the strangest odd-couple I have ever seen. And we spent the rest of the trip home laughing. The monster dog didn’t give us too much trouble after that time. We never saw the pig again either. So it was probably either the dog bringing home a confinement escapee, or one last romp between friends before going to the big pig pen in the sky.

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