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view, the distant prospect of the completion of my house should have been enchanting; and as summers invariably return every year, it would be only a question of a few months, and my summer house would be merely a next summer house.
C H A PTE R III.
MORE LIVE-STOCK–A HORSE AND A PIG. WHICH is THE NOBLER ANIMAL! N order to live in the country, one must own a horse; in order to keep house in the country, one must own a pig. In popular estimation, the animal creation stand in relation to man in the following order—cows, horses, pigs, dogs. For the existence of a large portion of the race of infants in these modern days of tight lacing and slender limbs, a cow is a prime necessity; for utility in transferring one's self from place to place between which there is no railroad, or if there is, and the person’s life is precious in his own eyes, a horse is extremely useful; for asSociation in contemplative moments and suggestiveness of comfortable ideas, a pig is very pleasant; for the higher enjoyments of life, for the sports of the field and wood, the dog takes first rank. I have already described the cow. My dog, like those of all my friends, is the best in the world, and I bought the “love of a pig.” Pigs are a highly intellectual race; they not only know on which side their bread is buttered, but in which part of the trough to find the best-buttered pieces. Reader, didst thou ever study the language of a pig–the beautiful intonations of its various expressions; the grunt of welcome at its master's approach; the sharp warning to desist if punishment is threatened; the squeal demanding more food, broken often into the most piteous accents of entreaty; the cry of pain, or scream of rage? Pig-language is a copious one, although the power to understand it is given to but few of the human race. The expressions of a pig's face are most impressive; the eye speaks the enjoyment of a joke—twinkles with fun, as we say; conveys an intimation of anger, or expresses scorn of an underhand action or watchfulness against it. Who ever got the better of a pig by fair means? Chase him, and see him provokingly keep half a dozen feet ahead of you; try to drive him, and measure his obstinacy even by that of your wife; endeavor to lead him, and make up your mind to have a “good time.” Our pig united many pleasant qualities and points of Sagacity to a gentleness and suavity rare in the race; he had an appetite that was a joy to behold, and was as effective an appetizer as a gin-cocktail.
The household was large, and swill consequently abundant, but piggy never shrank from his duty; he seemed to feel that the reputation of all pigdom rested on him, and, no matter how often the trough was replenished, he was ever ready to renew his attacks. His sides were puffed out and rounded like a ball, but he would stand with one foot in the trough, and never desist till the last morsel was consumed. He was as clean and white as a baby in a morning-gown, and would allow his flanks to be scratched in the
most gracious way, grunting gently the while, and occasionally turning over on his side. He was altogether a rarely sociable companion: so much for our pig. In selecting a horse, there was one point I had made up my mind upon—he must be gentle; he might be fast or slow, stylish or commonplace, but kind in single or double harness, as the professionals term it, he should be. My experience of horse-flesh has been varied and instructive: I have been thrown over their heads and slid over their tails; have been dragged by saddle-stirrups and tossed out of wagons; I have had them to balk and to kick, to run and to bolt, to stand on their hind feet and kick with their front, and then reciprocate by standing on their front and kicking with their hind feet. I have seen more of a horse's heels, have known more of the intricacies and possibilities of a “Smash-up,” have had more bits of pole and whiffle-trees sent flying over my head than falls to the lot of most men; I have been thrown much with horses, and more by them; I have had them do nearly every thing they should not have done, and leave undone all that they should have done. So gentleness was the one prerequisite to a purchase, and many were the animals I examined to secure this qualification, many the faults I discovered; but I finally obtained the precise creature I