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To Lasso a Pig
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Cindi    Posted 12-24-2003 at 03:50:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jake's been pestering me to buy him a lasso. Claims he can rope a pig. I just laughed at him.

"Son, it's impossible. Look at the way their heads are shaped. Like a cone. The rope won't set. It'll slide down his neck, and over his head, and off the end of his nose. It would be like trying to rope a torpedo." I know this, because I have tried to lead one using a rope, and that's exactly what happened every time.

Nothing had occured to change my opinion when Ricardo showed up yesterday wanting a hundred and fifty pound hog for a bar-b-que.

"You'll have to come back," I told him, "I've got the pig, but he's runnning loose in the pasture, it may take me hours to bait him into a pen so that we can catch him."

He squinted at me over his Ray-Bans, and then shrugged.

"I catch heem." He said simply.

He rattled off something in spanish to the fellow he brought with him, and he ran to the truck and retrieved a thirty foot length of what appeared to be ski rope and brought it to Ricardo. Trying to be diplomatic, I hid a grin behind my hand, and stepped up my efforts to bait the pigs into the loading chute.

The plan was to dump feed into the chute, allow all the pigs to enter and then evict them one by one, until a good candidate for the sale was left alone in the chute. It's a tried and true method, but takes time. Right after Ricardo sent his buddy for the rope, I sent Jill for feed.

"I cash de peeg." Ricardo insisted again, grinning.

Yeah, well, whatever. Okay.

He clearly had only a tentative grasp on English, so I didn't bother to explain that he was wasting his time. Everybody knows that you can't lasso a pig. Everybody except Ricardo apparently.

I was already slightly irked with the guy. He showed up with no notice, demanding a sizable pig, right now, and once it became clear to me that he did not intend to leave without one, I resigned myself to the fact that the situation could easily work itself into a pig nightmare. Especially since he had shown up dressed to the nines in white pants, a pale blue western shirt, and what appeared to be ostrich western boots. The guy came to buy a pig, and didn't look like he planned on gettin' dirty, which did not bode well for me. I figured I was in the whole deal by myself, which made me even more determined to do it my way.

"Whish wan you wanna me buy?" Ricardo asked, making an increasingly larger loop in his rope, standing there, one hip jutted out, his sunglasses perched on the end of his nose, still gazing at me over the top of them.

"That one..." I waved my hand indifferently at a half grown barrow, and collected the bucket of feed from Jill as she handed it over the pasture fence.

I went on about my business. Dumped the feed into the chute feeder, and then busied myself with trying to keep my feet out from under some three hundred plus thundering hooves. Suddenly I heard...

...whoop...whoop...whoop....and then the hiss of the rope as it sailed through the air.

Ricardo's half pint sized buddy was jumping up and down clapping his hands like a four year old kid at the circus.

I turned just in time to see the loop settle over the pig's shoulders, see him step through it, watched it slide down over his hips and down his rear legs and predictably... land in the dirt behind him.

"Huh." I said. Who'da thought that would happen.

I leaned against the fence post to watch as Ricardo readied his rope for a second attempt, wondering how many times he was going to try this before he would give up. I glanced at my watch, and sighed.

The pig ran a large circle around us and then came back, drawn by the promise of the feed in the chute, but would not enter the chute. He stood at the opening, aware now that he was the target, and reluctant to do anything that might contribute to his capture.


The rope snaked through the air again, this time settling right down around the pig's neck. Ricardo's sidekick's jumping and clapping routine went into over drive, and he was babbling something excitedly in spanish and while I didn't understand the words the meaning was clear.

"You did it, you son of a *&!!! You did it!"

Apparently I wasn't the only one who had been slightly pessimistic about Ricardo's pig catching methods. The pig went to squalling and whipping his head back and forth, but much to my amazement, appeared to be well and thoroughly caught.

This is where I began to understand Ricardo's choice of attire. He had done his part. He merely kept pressure on the rope while the sidekick jumped the fence, scurried over to the pig, legged it and flipped it on it's side. It all happened so fast that I stood there with my mouth hanging open and really didn't know what to do until Ricardo gave me one of those...'well?' looks.

"Oh!" Wake up Cindi.

I snatched the three foot length of clothesline rope from my back pocket and straddled the pig, and while he bucked and thrashed I tied his two front feet together, then tied his two back feet together and using the balance of the rope I tied the two pairs of feet together in the middle. Then I stood up, and we all watched as the pig struggled to get his feet loose, but the ropes held and he finally sighed and gave up, his sides heaving from the effort.

"How...I" I stammered, and Ricardo smiled.

"De rrrrrope mus' you say...." He fingered the rope, holding it up for my inspection..."uh....clot? You know....clot!"


"Si! Yes! Mus' be clot. So it will...." he made a fist, and a 'clamping down' gesture.

"Grip! So that it will grip!"

"Si! Grippa."

Okay, close enough.

I watched Ricardo gingerly dust off his hands, climb into his truck and drive away. My father-in-law who is visiting from Texas, was sitting in a lawn chair watching this event, and having never seen such a transaction was thoroughly impressed. But with the wrong part.

" art to git yerself into one of them there rodeos!"

"No." I laughed. "Not me...HIM!" I pointed at the truck as it disappeared up the road. "And now I have to to get cleaned up and go to town for a last minute Christmas gift."

"Oh yeah? Who fer?"

"Jake. He's been pestering me for a lasso. This year...he gets one."

KellyGa    Posted 12-26-2003 at 08:36:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Let Us know when Jake gets his first pig down with the lasso! :)

Willy-N    Posted 12-24-2003 at 08:11:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
We used to Lasso Pig's back east at a farm I lived on. We would take a rope and wrap it around a very strong post in the barn then make a small loop on the end and when the pigs were eating we would lasso the top haft of there snoot and they would pull back on it till the rope was very tight! Then they would just lean against it and we would ring there noses and cut tusks off. Never could figure why they would never walk ahead to loosen the rope. After we were done with them we would just un/wrap the rope off the post and let them go. Mark H.

Cindi    Posted 12-24-2003 at 10:01:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Willie, down here they call that snaring. (I think) Anyway this pig was on the run, no getting around his busy little face.

Merry Christmas to you and to you Bob and to you DC! Happy happy holidays. Not hoildays. (grin)

Bob/Ont    Posted 12-24-2003 at 10:29:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Merry Christmas to you and all your family too Cindi.
Later Bob

Bob/Ont    Posted 12-24-2003 at 08:57:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mark, a sow will always pull back but a boar will sometimes charge at you when you hold them that way.
Later Bob

deadcarp    Posted 12-24-2003 at 07:47:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
(nudging my dozing cellmate) "you believe that?" "what?" "that you can lasso a pig?"

"lasso a pig? no way mon - to lasso a pig you'd need a clot rope!" (facing the camera with my best walter mathau expression :)

Dave Smith    Posted 12-24-2003 at 04:32:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Another good short story. Im glad to see you back and entertaining us again.
I lost all my links to you're story sites. Could you repost them.
A Merry Christmas to you and you're family, and I hope Jake likes his lassso.
Dave <*)))><

Cindi    Posted 12-24-2003 at 04:42:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Merry Christmas to you too Dave. The only link that is consistently updated is the one to agriculture online, but here it is.

Thanks Cindi, NT    Posted 12-24-2003 at 04:44:41       [Reply]  [No Email]

Wm. from NC    Posted 12-24-2003 at 04:18:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
By all means, get that young man a "clot" lasso.May save you many hours of work.

Cindi    Posted 12-24-2003 at 04:24:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Si. Yes. Clot, nothing but clot. (grin)

Definitetly a Clot..    Posted 12-24-2003 at 05:11:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
..Lasso. And a pair of white pants.

Thanks Cindi, great story! And did I laughed!

My husband contracted a guy from NicaraŘa that doesn't speak english, my husband doesn't speak a fluent spanish yet, although he's really doing very good in his quest to learn. Like you and Ricardo, Gerrit and Alejandro must resort to broken english/spanish and the always toooo funny, but some times confused, sign language.

Cindi    Posted 12-24-2003 at 05:58:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh yes, sign language. We had some of that too. (smile)

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas.

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