Two Ways to Move a Pig

Friendly pig

I grew up on a farm and learned that there are two ways to move a pig.

One way is to push the pig from behind. If you do that, they’ll lean back, dig in their hooves and scream. We had plywood boards with hundreds of dull nails sticking out of them horizontally. You could use one of those boards to push against the pig’s behind, but it mostly didn’t work. They still got mad and made the whole event stressful and exhausting.

The other way is to carry a board without nails and just stand behind it so it can’t go back. It might dawdle along as it investigates each new step along the path (usually by smelling it), but it’s happy doing that. As it advances (which it will, eventually), you just walk forward with your board. Your board doesn’t have to be able to block the whole return path. You just move it sideways to block the pig if it tries to backtrack through a hole. Sometimes they get tricky and make quick dash for a hole, and sometimes it works, but so what? You can just go back and start again. After a while, the pig figures out that you’re not giving up, and then their curiosity leads them to explore the uncharted lands. This method is often slower, but accomplishes the same thing with way less stress.

Photo Credits: Miss piggy by ** Maurice ** on Flickr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

One thought on “Two Ways to Move a Pig

  1. I feel like there is a lesson here. Maybe even one that could be applied to an important life lesson that doesn't involve livestock. I am checking the "Notify me of follow-up comments via email" box just in case.

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