The Farmer and the Pigs
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 by Frank Shortt
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       Each human being was created a certain way, to look a certain way, to act a certain way. We spend thousands, even millions, of dollars yearly to try to look, act, and be a certain way.
       There was once a kind farmer who wished that all his animals would be the best that they could be. He surveyed his herd of cows and if one was a little shaggy, he would curry it to perfection. He did the same with his horses. His sheep must have the whitest coats possible so he ran them through the sprinklers each week as he watered his well- manicured pastures. When he sheared the sheep, he made sure that each one was sheared with no gaps in the wool that was left, and most of all, there must be no bloody spots where he might have gotten a little close to the skin while shearing.
       One fine day the farmer walked down to the pigsty to feed his pigs and to survey his porcine population. He noticed that each pig was of the right size according to their age. He noticed that each pig had all the accoutrements needed to be a healthy pig. The one thing that bothered him was their nasty habits. Each one loved to wallow out a hole for himself just the right size for a pig. When it rained, water would flow into this hole and as the pigs continued to wallow, mud began to form in the hole. Wow! This began to feel real good to the pigs. The kind farmer thought, “This cannot be, I must do something to improve the surroundings of my pigs!”
       The farmer thought and thought of ways to stop the awful habit his pigs had of lying in the muck and runoff of the pigsty. So, being a resourceful man, he built floors of oak wood for his pigs to lie on and stay out of that awful mud. After a week or so the farmer noticed that his pigs were growing thinner and were beginning to have terrible dispositions. They were even beginning to nip each other while passing. “Oh my, he cried, I don’t believe my pigs like this oak flooring at all!”
       After trying several ways to keep his pigs from lying in the mud, the farmer decided to take each one out of the pen, wash him thoroughly, and place a pink ribbon around the neck of each. “This will give them self-confidence, he told his wife, and maybe they will now stop wallowing in the mire!” As soon as the farmer turned them back into the sty, where do you think they went? Up to the oak floor? Noo! Shuffling to the door to follow the farmer to greener pastures? Noo! Right back to the mud-hole they went just as fast as their short little legs could carry them! The farmer soon realized that the pigs’ nature is to be a pig! No matter how daintily you treat a pig, his nature will always be a pig nature.
       Cities have spent millions of dollars to show compassion on people whose very nature is to be an independent soul. While volunteering at a rescue mission for about fifteen years I often discussed this problem with some of the inmates who came in off the street. This one man, named Floyd, from, I believe Omaha, Nebraska, who came from a good home, had a fairly decent education and practiced sanitary habits, taught me a great lesson in human nature. He would stay at his job at the mission, which was shipping and receiving, for weeks at a time. He was not late for work, he was always available when there was work to do, and he remained sober all this time. All of a sudden, with no provocation, he would disappear for a week or so and do his thing. One day I asked Floyd what he did when he left the confines and safety of the mission. He replied, “Ever since I was a little boy I had this urge to roam. I developed a drinking habit very early on and every once in a while I just have to satisfy that demon of roaming and drinking. I appreciate all that the Mission does for me, but with all the fineries I encounter while I am here, I still have to be what I am down deep inside!” When I asked the Mission Director about this he would say, “Old Floyd just has to be Floyd!”
       Good intending people have taken our fruits, animals, and vegetables and hybrid them to be larger and prettier, thinking they could feed more people. Instead, they have taken the natural life out of each and left us with a larger, prettier, product. Why can’t humans just be satisfied with how things are in the natural?
       Aesop once wrote a fable about a wolf that killed a sheep and dressed himself in the sheep’s coat. Later he drifted into the sheep fold trying to be a sheep. Wolves do not eat grass, dandelions, and sawbriers! Once he grew hungry he showed his true nature. He killed the first lamb that came by him, proving once again that the nature of anything must be manifested.
       If it were possible to transfer a different nature into the one we possess, then we could change. Like as if we could take on the life of Beethoven, we would all write beautiful symphonies! If we suddenly took on the life of Shakespeare, we would write sonnets and plays! For a wolf to be a sheep, his nature would have to be changed to sheep nature!