Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 25, 2000

Now we're cozy as a bug in a rug


This is the eighth in a series of stories about Joe, the pot-bellied pig, and his owner, Fred. Fred and Joe are ready to enjoy their first winter on the farm.

The pig and chicken barns on the farm are all ready for winter. Water lines, which carry water to the farm animals, have been dug deep into the ground where the water doesn't freeze.

In the fall, new yards were built for the farm animals and now, they all enjoy going outside for a short time every day, unless it is raining or snowing.

A few months ago, Fred and Joe spent the day at the state fair. There, they saw beautiful pigs, chickens, and other animals.

"That chicken looks just like our Blackie," Fred said. "Next year, we should enter him in the fair."

Joe thought that was a great idea. And when he didn't see any other pot-bellied pigs there, he decided that he should enter the fair next summer, too. He was sure he would have a very good chance of winning a blue ribbon.

Soon, it was the first of December, and the farm saw its first snowfall. Fred trimmed the trees in the farm- yard with Christmas lights.

When he stood back to admire his work, he noticed that all of the animals in the barn were crowded around the windows looking out at the pretty lights, as well.

"I know," Fred said, "I will put some Christmas lights in the barn for all the animals to enjoy." He put up green lights for the pigs, and red for the chickens.

When he turned on the decorations, the chickens went wild. They enjoyed the colored lights so much that they started laying more eggs, and soon, there were so many eggs that Fred put a sign out on the road that said, "Eggs For Sale."

People enjoyed driving by the farm slowly to admire the beautifully decorated farm yard.

When Christmas came, Fred bought mash for the chickens and pigs as a special treat, and he gave them some delicious, fresh apples.

Fred had a wagon of straw brought in for bedding in the barn, and another wagon with corn on cobs for the animals to eat.

He hired the farmer who rented his farmland to clean the barns every week. The farmer took the manure and spread it on the fields to make the soil rich. Then, he spread clean straw in the barns for all of the animals.

Fred and the animals were cozy and warm on their farm. They had plenty to eat and a clean, warm place to sleep.

Joe curled up in Fred's warm living room, and took a nap. Maybe it will be spring when I wake up, he thought.

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