Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Pig with a Broom

I spent one summer in college working as a musician at a theme park in Arkansas, and I got to know a professional animal trainer. He was only about my age, but he was so good with animals that he had his own animal show, probably the most popular show at the park because it had a pig that could sweep sawdust from the floor with a broom, pick it up with a dust pan, and put it in a waste basket. After watching the show a few times I learned that few things will delight a tourist more than seeing a pig with a broom it its mouth.

I became the animal trainer's friend and often went to have lunch with him and his parents on a farm with probably a dozen dogs, many of whom were in the show. I was amazed at how he talked to them and how they listened. But, I asked him, what about the pig?

He claimed the pig was actually his younger brother, who after a normal childhood slowly transformed into his present form. Not only could this pig handle a broom, he told me, but he also played poker and drove a pickup truck. At the time I doubted the trainer's honesty, but recent experience with our puppy's super-human intelligence have caused me to reconsider the possibility of transmogrification. I have some theories about the puppy...

Sometimes in woodworking you also have to make do with what life gives to you. My baseboards, for example, started out in my mind with a certain shape, but circumstances are transforming them into something else altogether. I pictured the top trim pieces with some graceful curves and cuts, but I'm not having much luck and patience is running out and I don't want to drive down to Home Depot yet again in pursuit of router bits that may or may not work out, and did I mention about my patience running out.

I may well end up with a pig.

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