Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 21, 2000

A tree for me, a tree of my very own


This is the third in a 10-week series of stories about Joe, the pot-bellied pig. Last week, Joe's owner, Fred, had decided to build a porch onto their new home in the country. Joe tells the story.

Fred is very excited about building the new porch on the house. I like the idea of having a porch, but I wish we could build a fence for the chickens first.

You see, we have chickens and pigs on this farm and they make fun of me every time I go outside. They call me names and tell me I should live in the barn with the other pigs. They don't understand that I am a pot-bellied pig, and I am a house pet, not a farm animal.

When we came home from the lumberyard with the wood for the porch, I went to lie down under my favorite tree on our farm.

Right away, Blackie, the old hen, and the five dirty pigs came over to me and started laughing.

"Looks like you don't get that fence you wanted," they said.

"I will," I told them. "We just have to build the porch first."

"Come over by us, we will give you a mud bath," they teased.

"I want to stay clean, I don't want to be dirty like you," I answered them.

"Oh yeah, well, if you keep eating all of that people food, you are going to be so fat that a mud puddle is the only place you will fit," they laughed at me.

I ran back into the house.

"Are they teasing you again?" Fred asked me. "Why don't you try to be their friend?"

"I would," I thought, "but they hate me. They call me names because I live in the house with you."

"Well, Joe," Fred said, "you know that you will always be my friend.

"But, Joe, there is something we have to talk about," Fred continued. "You know that tree that you like to lay under? It is growing right where the new porch is going to be. They will have to take the tree down in order to build our new porch."

You can imagine how I felt. That tree is the only place in the whole yard that I felt I could call my own. I started to cry and ran to my room.

Fred was right behind me.

"Joe, we will plant trees all around the porch when it is finished. You can pick out a tree and plant it, and it can be your very own. We will call it 'Joe's tree.'"

My own tree! Yes! Now I felt better.

That night I thought about my new tree. I imagined all the sunny days that I would be able to take my nap by it. I couldn't wait till that porch was done and my tree was planted.

I can help Fred build the porch, I thought to myself. I can drag the dead tree limbs from my old tree away and put them in a pile for Fred.

The next day, when the builders came to get the area ready to start working, I ran outside and started to clean up the yard for them.

"I knew you would want to help me," Fred said.

I can't wait to get to work on our new porch. Soon, I will have a new tree of my very own.

To be continued.

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