Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 18, 2000

Pork chops are a powerful reminder


In this story, the seventh in a series of stories about Joe, the pot-bellied pig, the farm is starting to look very nice after having received many improvements and repairs.

As Fred continued to work on the farm and repair and clean up the buildings, he liked how clean and neat his farm looked.

He decided to pipe water into the barn so he wouldn't have to carry pails of water to the animals. In order to put the pipes into the ground below the frost line, Fred had to hire some big machinery to come in and dig down deep into the ground.

The frost line is the point below ground where it stays warm enough, even in the winter, to keep water from freezing.

After that work was done, the large area of ground that had been dug up was quite soft. All of the animals on the farm thought it was great fun to roll around in the dirt, especially after a rain, when the ground became very muddy.

Joe had to remind the pigs that if they didn't stay clean and keep their barn yard neat, they could be turned into pork chops.

The words, "pork chops," were all it took to convince them to wash off the dirt in the water ditch before they came in from playing in the mud.

Fred gave the chickens a new water trough with a piped in water line to keep it filled. The chickens decided that they liked to jump into the trough with their dirty feet and play in the water. This did not make Fred very happy.

"Well, those chickens are just going to have to drink dirty water, I guess," he said.

But Blackie, a chicken who had learned that being clean was a good thing to be, said, "Don't worry about those chickens. I'll talk to them."

That night, Blackie gave the chickens a talking-to, and there was so much ruckus going on in the chicken house that you could hear it all the way up to the house.

Next, Fred made new nests in the chicken house. Soon, he was finding eggs in the nests.

"Oh, boy," Fred said, "we will have fresh eggs to eat this winter. It's going to be great living here on the farm."

Joe and Blackie were glad to see Fred so happy. They felt pretty good about their part in getting the other animals to stay clean.

Then, Fred said, "I will have to quit fixing things for awhile. I have run out of money for materials.

"Now, I will go to work in my office. I will work very hard so that next year, there will be money to do some more fixing on our farm."

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