Tales and Trails of Wakarusa,  by A. M. Harvey

The Yankee and His Hog -- and Other Troubles

     MARCUS DOYEN came straight from the heart of Maine to Wakarusa. His family consisted of himself and wife and an old mother who had made the journey with them. It did not take him long to provide comfortable habitations for himself and one horse and a cow, and he interested everyone by the ingenuity with which he constructed his buildings, so tight that even the Kansas wind could not blow through them, and as though he were calculating on the same kind of temperature during winter time that his home State produced.

     He looked about him and got acquainted with his neighbors, and soon concluded that he should buy a hog to fatten up for the small amount of pork and lard that his family would need. Big Aaron Coberly sold him a fine, husky pig, and when he delivered him he found that the Yankee had made a good pen for him, not very big, but stout, and with a warm bed fixed in one corner that was well sheltered. A few days afterwards, one of the neighbors came by, and Doyen called him over to see his hog, and said:

     "He's surely got the right name, because he eats more than the horse and cow both. By George, he is a perfect hog; and he hasn't any sense about his bed; has picked up every straw and carried it over to the other corner of his pen, and keeps it there. He's also making trouble by digging into the ground with his nose, and has one hole where he's dug so deep that he nearly stands on his head when he's working on it."

     The neighbor advised him to cut the hog's nose in slashes or put rings in it, but told him that the more of a hog the hog made of himself, the better hog he would be. The Yankee scratched his head as he received this advice, and said nothing; but a few days afterwards the neighbor was going near his place and heard a terrible squealing, and went over and found the Yankee hanging onto the fence of the pig pen with a hoe in his hand, and he noticed that the hog's face was covered with blood where the Yankee had been trying to slash his nose with the hoe ground sharp as a razor. When the neighbor stopped to observe the proceedings, Doyen told him that this hog was the trial of his life; that he hated to cut his nose, but had finally concluded that he must do so, and that he couldn't throw him down and handle him himself, so he had sharpened up his hoe and was trying to fix him so that he couldn't dig in the ground. Resting on the hoe for a minute, the Yankee said:

     "He's one of me troubles, sure enough; but we've had others. My wife's had an awful time trying to wash our clothes. The water will turn all sorts of colors and mix up like buttermilk every time she puts the soap in it, and finally someone told her that she had to break the water. I've heard of breaking horses and colts and oxen, but I never heard of breaking water; but, by George, that's what we're going to have to do."

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