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A Day No Pigs Would Die

Robert Newton Peck

Chapter 10

Chapter 9

Chapter 10, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

The day of Robert's trip to Rutland finally arrives. After breakfast, Mrs. Peck packs Robert a giant basket of food, and Aunt Carrie gives him the ten cents that she promised him, all wrapped up in a handkerchief and stuffed deep in his pocket. Mr. Peck yokes up the team, and he and Robert head for Mr. Tanner's house. After dropping off Robert, Mr. Peck gives him one word of advice: manners.

The Tanners and Robert ride to Rutland in Mr. Tanner's hitch pulled by his two identical gray horses. The mare is named Quaker Lady and the gelding is Quaker Gent. They speed along, passing countless other hitches, and arrive in Rutland in no time. Robert is taken aback by the size and business of the place.

They head for where the stock is penned, and on the way Mrs. Tanner exclaims that she needs to find a "restroom." Robert thinks she is just tired, and when they see a pair of bathrooms with the words, "Ladies," and, "Gents," he thinks that they are just the stalls for Mr. Tanner's horses. Mrs. Tanner then shepherds him into the Gents room, telling him not to talk to anyone because "[p]laces like that are full of perverts." He is surprised when the room turns out to be a bathroom and disappointed that he doesn't see any perverts.

Finally, they get to the pen where Bib and Bob are being kept and yoke them up for the show. Pinky's stall turns out to be only two stalls down, so Robert is able to sneak in a visit. "Pinky," he says, "We're in Rutland. Ain't it grand?"

The first thing that they do is have a picture taken with the yoked team. The procedure takes about an hour, culminating in the blinding explosion of the flash, which spooks the team and leaves Robert blind for a few minutes. The time to show the oxen finally arrives, and the announcer calls, "Bib and Bob, owned by Mr. Benjamin Franklin Tanner, and worked in the ring by Mr. Robert Peck." Robert is so shocked by his sudden fame that Mr. Tanner has to give him a hard nudge to start him leading the oxen around the ring. Bib and Bob are well received and the crowd cheers loudly, with many people actually following the team out the runway to get a better look. While he leads them, Robert thinks about how much he wished that his family, Edward Thatcher, Jacob Henry, and Becky Tate. Could see him. He is so proud that he starts to wonder if it might be sinful.

Robert finishes up the show and heads the oxen toward the rest area where Mr. Tanner is waiting for him. For some reason, Mrs. Tanner is not there, and just as Robert starts to wonder what happened to her, she comes running up through the crowd. "Quick," she says, wheezing, "The 4-h men are judging the stock that children raised." She tells them that the judges are reviewing calves right now but that pigs are next, so Robert and Mr. Tanner run off to get Pinky while Mrs. Tanner tends to Bib and Bob. Just as they are about to drive Pinky out of the pen, they notice that she has rolled in something nasty, which sticks out like a soar thumb on her otherwise pristine coat. Robert dives in and starts scraping the dung off with his fingers, but Mr. Tanner tells him to go find some soap. Robert looks all over and finally has to trade his ten cents to a stall boy for a piece of used saddle soap. They clean Pinky off and get her to the show just in time to be judged. As Robert gets into the ring, he starts to sweat from nervousness, and as he puts his hand up to his brow to wipe off some of the sweat, he gets such an intense whiff of pig manure that he almost vomits. Robert manages to hold on for a while, but when he sees a judge walking over and pinning something blue on Pinky, it is just too much. He bends over and throws up, some of which gets on the judge's shoes, and then he fades into darkness.

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Pinky is a girl!

by VioletFlowermeadow, August 12, 2013

I noticed that you guys made Pinky a "he", although she is a GIRL! Why else would they breed her to a boar? She was expected to be a brood sow! How can that possibly be a boy? It just looks funny to me...

Samson and Solomon

by twistleton, January 02, 2014

The ox is Solomon; Mr. Tanner's boar hog is Samson.

Apron and Daisy

by sewingmama, January 06, 2014

Apron:Mr.Tanner's

cow, Bib and Bob's mother
Daisy: The Peck's dairy cow

See all 5 readers' notes   →

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