Litter of Pigs

By Fred Lape

In a farm­ing sce­nario no doubt famil­iar to him, Arbore­tum Founder Fred Lape’s poem cel­e­brates the life force” in nature. 

Lit­ter of Pigs

On the first cold fall days the lit­tle pigs

Whine and grum­ble like bees in a hive.

Nes­tled in hay they bide their time in a pile,

one on top of the oth­er, a liv­ing pyramid.

But the top­most pig, three sides to the cold, 

is unsat­is­fied; he squeals and whines and wiggles,

he works and push­es him­self down in the pile, 

and anoth­er unfor­tu­nate forced to the top

squeals and whines and wig­gles and push­es in turn.

So they lie until some­where in the pyramid

one bites the ear of anoth­er and bites it hard.

The bit­ten one squeals as if stuck by a knife.

The pile explodes like a dyna­mite blast.

The lit­tle pigs wheel and run in circles,

they grunt, they whine, they sniff each other,

they grow silent.

The furor over, they return.

The first one snug­gles down into the hay;

anoth­er climbs on top; a fourth one push­es in;

and so the liv­ing pyra­mid builds up again,

and one poor pig unfor­tu­nate is left on top

and whines and whines and whines.

Fall 2023

Volume 41 , Number 3

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