Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 11, 2000

Fixing up the farm


In this story, the sixth in a 10-week series of stories about Joe, the pot-bellied pig, Joe and his owner Fred are working together to fix up their new farm. Joe tells the story.

Yesterday, Fred started to clean up the barn on our farm, where the big pigs live. He filled in the mud hole with sand, so the pigs will no longer be rolling around and getting dirty. Then, Fred painted the barn.

He even put running water to the pigs' water dish. Now, all the pigs have to do is push down on a lever and water comes into their dish. This way, their water stays much cleaner.

Fred told me that he wants to build a new building for the pigs next spring. I told the pigs about Fred's plans.

I said that they must be very good this winter, so Fred will decide to keep them, and then, he will make the new building for them. I told them not to try to sneak out of their fence all winter, and they promised that they would try very hard to be good pigs.

Fred also made a new pasture for the pigs. When they went onto the nice, green grass, Fred sprayed them down with water from a hose to wash some of the dirt off of them.

Some of the pigs didn't like getting a bath, as the water was very cold. But when Fred was done, all of the pigs were much cleaner and they looked very nice.

The pigs enjoy running around in their nice, big pasture area. But, some of the pigs complained that something very important was missing ­ they wanted some water to roll in, like they had in their old mud hole.

So, Fred decided to fence off a path to the river for the pigs, and now, they are able to go to the river and get wet. This makes the pigs very happy. They promised that, after they roll around in the mud, they will wash off in the river before they come back to their pasture.

Then, Fred showed me how to pick weeds out of the flower bed.

"This will be your job, Joe," Fred said. "You can get your friend, Blackie, the chicken, to help you."

Fred showed us which plants to keep and which ones to root out with my nose. Blackie helped by scratching the weeds out with her feet, too.

At first, we hated weeding the garden. But, when we saw how nice the flowers looked when we were done, we decided that it was a very important job, indeed, and then, we didn't mind doing it so much.

Fred said that next week, we will begin working on the chicken coop.

We have made many improvements to our old farm. And, when we get done, this farm is going to look very, very nice.

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