Friday, May 16, 2008

My 900 Pound Birthday Pig

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticism. ~George Elliot

I've been living more simply as of late. Perhaps it's because summer is right around the corner and that glorious season naturally inspires me to wear less clothing, consume fewer calories. Or, maybe it's a middle age thing, and I'm simply paring down my life to the bare essentials, so it's less fussy, more me. Whatever the reason, I am enjoying this newfound simplicity, and what I've happily discovered about myself is I don't need as many things as I thought I did. I recently lost twenty-four pounds, and as a result, now have only two pairs of jeans that fit me, rather than the ten I used to have. I lamented about this for a few weeks, but then snapped out of my funk and realized that the earth didn't stop spinning on it's axis because I only had two pairs of jeans to wear--in fact, I now kind of like it, as it's made my life simpler, easier.

So, when the calendar page turned to April 20th a few weeks ago, I was worried that I would get a lot of stuff for my birthday that I didn't really need, stuff that would replace the clutter I had been working so hard to shed of as of late. Instead--and I shouldn't be surprised at this one bit because I have the best friends in the world--I didn't receive stuff at all. Rather, I received for my birthday a pig, and an emu, and a Chinese goose, and a colt, and a whole slew of barnyard buddies, as my best friend, Cindy, made a donation in my name to the Long Meadow Rescue Ranch. Nestled among 165-acres of woodland near Union, Missouri, this ranch is haven for hundreds of abused and neglected horses, cows, goats, ducks, and other farm animals, my personal favorite being Snortin' Norton, a domestic white pig that topples the scale at nearly 900 pounds. Now Norton may not be a study in dietary moderation--or personal hygiene for that matter--but as I was checking in on him the other day on the RanchCam I realized that besides a seven hundred and eighty pound difference, and a snout (his, not mine), me and Norton are not so different really; at the end of the day all we both want is to live safely and without fear (me from terrorists + bill collectors, Norton from the breakfast table), to be happy and to feel good, to have friends and companions in our lives, for there to be food on the table (or in Norton's case, in the trough), and to have a comfortable place to lay our heads when the sun sets over the horizon each and every night. Norton doesn't own ten pairs of jeans, you see, and he gets along just fine in life. And, what I am beginning to realize is, so can I.

Suzanne Brown 5.16.08

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