Do Hogs Go to Heaven?

pig skeleton


Humid summer mornings

were the worst,

especially when a slight southwesterly breeze,

carried the stench of hundreds of hogs

over the mile of fields to our yard

from the landlord’s farm.


It was a stifling, oppressive, nauseating smell,

odiferous fingers clutching our throats

and putrid fists pummeling our nostrils.

I always wondered how the landlord’s kids

even survived on that farm—

if it smelled so from a mile away,

surely they had to wear gas masks

at ground zero.


I hiked through the corn field one day,

to the woods a half mile away

between our small plot and the landlord’s house

(he owned all this property),

and found there during my walk

at one edge of the woods

a pile of complete pig skeletons,

some large, some small,

maybe ten or twenty total,

all jumbled together

no doubt dumped from a

front end loader,

not even buried,

just plopped there

to rot and decay

and be eaten by buzzards and bugs.


These would be the sick ones,

the injured ones,

I guessed,

culled from the herd

and disposed of unceremoniously,

and certainly with little concern

for hygiene or the environment

or the assault of the offal

on the sensitive nostrils of rural kids.


And I wondered,

do hogs go to heaven?

And, if so, do they stink there, too,

or does God have a way

to keep heaven spotless and

to stop pigs from stinking?


It was a gruesome scene,

but I was used to seeing dead animals

in the wild

(though not usually piles of them),

so it wasn’t particularly upsetting,

and it certainly didn’t stop me

from savoring mom’s

fried pork chops and pan gravy for dinner.


About stevenddorsey

I have been an avid writer for as long as I can remember. I enjoy composing poetry, lyrics, children's books and fiction for young adults. I have traveled the world extensively in my 25+ year career as an International Development professional and executive. I have lived in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. I speak Spanish and French. I married Rachel Miltimore in 1985. We have five children and five grandchildren. We currently live in Manassas, Virginia. We enjoy writing children's books together.
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1 Response to Do Hogs Go to Heaven?

  1. redgladiola says:

    Sometimes we just have to stop thinking and get on with life. *nods*

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