IT'S THE PITTS -- HOME IS WHERE THE HOG IS

by: Lee Pitts

When I was a youngster, in the formative stages of my life, the place where I resided was the home of the most hated hog in America. Pancakes was her name and she was by far the smartest animal I have ever raised.

Pancakes could escape from her pen any time she felt like it and usually she had that urge at the most inappropriate moments. You see, my mother was "seamstress to the stars" and her thriving sewing business was located right in our home. Her many customers had to drive down our long driveway, park their cars and then walk down a narrow pathway that was covered on both sides by dense trees and Japanese Boxwood hedges. Pancakes used to wait until one of these sewing customers would get about halfway down that path to make her escape from her pen. Then, making the most awful noise imaginable, she would charge through the hedges in the direction of the sewing customer, oftentimes scaring them nearly to death.      

Pancakes' favorite victims were debutantes in curlers who had come to pick up their "coming out" dresses. One look at the hog and they never came out again...at least not to our place. You'd be surprised how few debutantes have ever seen a hog up close and personal.

The porker never really hurt any of my mother's customers and really seemed to enjoy scaring them out of their clothes just as we enjoyed watching Pancakes work her porcine magic. But understandably, my mother used to get real mad at us, as if we let the hog out on purpose. If my mother hadn't been such a good seamstress I think that hog would have run all her customers off. Literally!

Pancakes got her name one day after a particularly funny episode where she attacked a two hundred pound snob who arrived by Cadillac and left on foot. The overbearing socialite called my mother later that day and informed her that she would never sew for her again! She also threatened to make bacon bits out of Pancakes. I think my mom was relieved to lose her as a customer but she was worried Pancakes would be the victim of a mob hit.

As usual after this episode we were unable to get Pancakes back in her pen. We tried for hours, but Pancakes was one hog that wouldn't herd. Meanwhile my mother had cooked pancakes for breakfast that morning and a few had been left over. She got the bright idea of luring the hog back into the pen with her pancakes. It worked like a charm and hence the name. After that us kids never got to eat pancakes again because we barely had enough for the hog. Despite all the nasty things the hog did to my mother's customers, I believe she actually liked that hog, probably because it was the only one that liked her pancakes.

But my mother's patience had its limits.

Our home was the sight once a year for a monthly meeting of the D.A.R., that's the Daughters of the American Revolution, a solid, very proper, flag waving group of ladies if there ever was one. Every year in preparation for this historic meeting my mom would make us cut the grass, prune the hedges, wash the windows, and clean up the steer pen so the smell would not offend the senses of the very proper members of the D.A.R. Her last words this one particular year were, "Stay out of sight and don't let the hog out!"

The big Cadillacs started to arrive to disgorge their tastefully decorated lady occupants. One after the other they began their parade down the walkway to our house, a lovely procession if I ever saw one. At about the moment most of them had progressed half way down the path, charging through the bushes came Pancakes. (I don't have any idea how she got out. Wink, wink.) Those very proper and prim ladies scurried for cover like they were in the Revolutionary War. Hats were flying everywhere and the air was filled with sounds of hog snorts and screaming women.      

Needless to say, the meeting of the D.A.R. that month was delayed while my mother cooked up a batch of her special pancakes.

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