Tag Archives: The Neverending Story

Sara the Potbellied Pig (Also, an Ode to The Neverending Story)

28 Mar

Asshole Example Two: Sara the Potbellied Pig

As I stated in my story about Allie the Irish Setter, one of my many duties at Dr. Costly’s animal hospital was feeding Sara the Potbellied Pig. A pig! I loved pigs! I was overjoyed. Could this job get any better? I didn’t think so. I learned of my Sara Duty about fifteen minutes into my first day. It was easy, Dr. Costly said. Sara, like a cool older sister, lived in her own barn out back of the vet’s office. After I let the vet’s dogs out and fed the horses, I was to fill up a large silver bowl with a hard cereal-like pig food. Okay, I could do that. “Just remember,” he told me, “never, ever, go all the way into the barn when you’re feeding Sara. Keep the barn door open and lean in and put down her bowl quickly. If you want to take her out, you can do that later, after she’s eaten.” Whatever, dude. I was, like, fourteen. I had this handled.

I carefully went through my mental list of what I was told to do. Bullet, Rosie, and Allie the bird murderer, Dr. Costly’s dogs, were happily prancing around, marking their territory. I dragged hay and water over to the sweet, old, swayback horses the vet had adopted when others had no use for them. Next up, Sara. Yes! I filled up her huge bowl carefully as slow-motion images of Sara and me jogging through a field of daises as Born Free played danced in my head. A pig, jogging? Whatever, it was my daydream.

I walked slowly to her barn so as not to drop a piece of her food. I wanted her well-fed and happy and to instantly like me, New Food Giver Person. I balanced the bowl against my flat chest and unlatched her barn door. Man. It was really, really dark in there. It smelled like hay and maple syrup, an altogether enjoyable combination.  But I couldn’t see anything. I opened her door a little wider, and in small, dusty shaft of light saw other metal bowls like the one I was carrying scattered empty all over the place. What a mess! No wonder Dr. Costly needed me. I’d show him right away on my first day, in my first hour, that I was neat and efficient and wouldn’t be leaving dirty dishes scattered around like the skeletons around the Sphinx in my favorite movie of the time, The Neverending Story.

Trust me. There are skeletons all around these guys.

I walked in, still seeing no pig, to get the bowls. And that’s when it happened. The barn door creaked shut, and I was submerged in total, complete, I know-what-it-is-to-be-blind darkness. I didn’t let myself freak out. I slowly walked towards where I thought the bowls were on the ground, but wasn’t even sure I was going in the right direction. I decided I needed to put the bowl of food I was carrying down, get back to the door, and free myself from this dark prison. And then I heard it. Snorting. Heavy breathing. I spun around, and then spun around again. It was like surround-sound pig grunts. And she sounded BIG. This was not the cute little pink curly-q tailed animal I was expecting. This pig was not going to be friends with a spider like Charlotte. This pig, I suddenly knew, wanted to kill me. I started slowly walking to where I thought the door was, shaking and still holding that stupid bowl of food, now in my right hand, dropping pellets of it as I walked. I was inadvertently leading Sara to her prey, like a bread crumb trail of death. And then, when I thought her wet, snorty noises were the scariest thing in the world, she went silent, and I knew that was worse. I was born in Texas. When all the birds get quiet, the tornado is about to hit. Well, it got quiet in that barn. “Sara? Sara?” I asked. And the next thing I knew, I felt a horrendous pain in my right hand. I screamed. She was upon me! And BITING me. Actually, just one bite, huge and strong and crushing, clamped over the fingers of my right hand and the side of the bowl. “Let me GOOOOOOO!” I pleaded. “I’ll give you the foooooood! SARA! I wanted to loooove you!” This wasn’t a pig. This was the freaking Nothing from The Neverending Story. I was sure of it in that split second, and I was horrified. Wouldn’t you be?

The Nothing. AKA the Thing of My Childhood Nightmares.

Finally, The Nothing the pig released her grasp. I dropped the bowl instantly and bolted straight into the darkness until I slammed hard into the barn wall and felt my way for the door. I came tumbling out into the sunshine and grass and lay down. Bullet, Rosie, and Allie all sat there, staring at me with their heads cocked curiously to the side. Thanks for the help, guys. Awesome. I looked at my fingers. There were covered in a sticky saliva and blood mixture, and had a clear set of square teeth marks on them, mainly on the center knuckle of my middle finger, which was practically crushed. It killed, but I didn’t want to get fired in my first hour on the job, so I hosed off my hand, wrapped it in a towel, and went inside. I made it about a half hour before the vet saw me and asked to see my hand. “Pigs have TEETH!” I informed him. Turned out, he knew that.  He immediately called my mother and had her take me to get a tetanus shot. And he fed Sara, who I came to learn was a TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUND PIG (I was a strapping 84 pounds at the time) himself from then on. There was no running through daisy fields with her. Because I was the Childlike Empress. And Sara was an Asshole.

The Childlike Empress