Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Writing Challenge #71

This is my first time to participate in the blog hop Weekly Writing Challenge #71.  I thought I would write something for this challenge and then link up.  I decided to write a piece of flash fiction which includes (5) words given for this weeks post:  blood, present, progress, search, face.  It is acceptable to write poetry for this challenge too.


That summer morning she had just finished weighing the eggs, straining the milk and putting the raw milk into the refrigerator to cool when she heard someone fumbling to open the screen door from the porch to the kitchen.

Her Dad called urgently, "Open the door!  Get some thread, a needle, and the scissors."  He was cradling an injured squealing piglet in his arms.  He'd gone down to the barn to check on the American Landrace sow who was due to deliver anytime and found that she had already delivered ten little pigs and had accidentally stepped on one.  He brought the newborn piglet into the warm kitchen to do the needed suturing on its belly.

She hurried to the dining room where the sewing machine cabinet was and pulled open a drawer to search for the needed items.  Unsure what size needle her Dad would need, she brought the whole package of needles to him.  The anticipation of watching the procedure made her stomach squirm.  She didn't really want to be present for this surgical task her Dad was going to do.  After all, he wasn't  a vet, but her help was necessary.  Her Mom could have helped, but she had already left for town where she worked in an office as a secretary.

As her Dad began threading a needle in preparation for stitching up the gash, she tried to hold the piglet still so its innards didn't pop out.  She didn't like to face the gaping wound and see the blood, but she had to do it.  A couple of times she had to have stitches on the bottom of her chin, and knew how painful that was, so it was difficult for her to imagine the pain the piglet was experiencing.  She and her Dad worked together as they sat by the red metal kitchen table, similar to the tables many families had in the '50s.  Finally all the stitches were tied off.  She wondered if their efforts would be enough to save the piglet's life and whether the sow would accept it back.

After her Dad returned the piglet to the pen to join its mother and siblings, every few hours he went to the barn to check on the progress of the new piglets.  He wanted to make sure the sow was accepting each one of her babies, and especially the injured one.  

The American Landrace hogs were by nature good mothers and more gentle creatures than some other types of hogs they'd had in the past.  She was hopeful that this little one would live, but one never knew what was going to happen next on the farm.  She had learned not to get too attached to the animals, because she had learned early on that animals not only lived, but they died.


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6 comments:

  1. Nice, gentle story, Pat. I wish farming was still like this.

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    1. Thank you. So many of the small farms no longer exist.

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  2. You connected with some of my childhood memories - the red enamel kitchen table, dropping everything to help with the animals, and learning the ultimate lesson that everything dies.

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    1. Looking back now I can recognize these things. At the time, it seemed like so much hard work and little time for fun like some of my friends living in town seemed to have. However, I did learn the value of hard work and I know what a blessing it was to learn that not all things come on a silver platter. I also learned the value of sacrifice.

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