Family Farm: Don’t Play Dress Up with Little Pigs

Author Photo
By Capper's Staff | Feb 13, 2012

One summer afternoon on a family farm, two little girls had nothing to do. Delores suggested, “Let’s play dress up with the new little pigs.”

Susan replied, “Well, I don’t know if Grandma would like that. And…” she stammered, “I am kind of afraid of that big mama pig.”

Delores said, “Well, that old sow won’t hurt a flea, scaredy-cat! Come on, sissy.”

“Well, OK.”

They ran indoors, packing Susan’s little suitcase to the brim with new doll clothes that her aunt in Chicago had made for her. Running, she caught up with Delores, who already was crawling into the little hut tacked to the back of the barn where the big, old white China sow lay on her side dozing as her little piglets suckled her warm, nutritious milk. Susan quickly crawled into the tiny enclosure. She reached behind her to close the wee door.

Delores reached for a little pig and tossed it gently into Susan’s lap. She then took another one from Mama Sow’s faucet to make room for two more piglets to get their turn. Susan unsnapped the suitcase and removed a green silk dress and matching baby bonnet. Delores pawed through it to the bottom, finding a cute white pinafore with cherry blossoms scattered over it. The girls busied themselves with pulling tiny front legs through the puffed sleeves of the dress. Susan laid the little pig she was playing with on its back as she carefully tied the jade bonnet under his chin. Then she reached once more into the far corner of the suitcase. Searching there, she found a pretty little pink pair of bloomers. These she deftly slipped onto her little pig’s hindquarters. Pulling the hind legs through the bloomer legs, Delores again rummaged through the clothes until she found a tiny doll’s shawl, which she fastened around her little pig’s neck. From time to time she stopped to reach over to pat and scratch Mama Sow on her side or snout. The girls played for about an hour trying all the dresses on their little doll-like pigs, which did not seem to mind. It became very hot and humid in the cramped quarters. The girls soon tired of the fun and repacked the suitcase, returning their pig-dolls to Mama Sow for a snack. The girls crawled out of the lean-to and fastened the door securely. As they wandered down the gravel path back to the house Susan said, “Gee, baby pigs’ high fashion silks are cute. We did have a good time.”

Many years later Susan related this story to her mother. She was informed how very lucky she and Delores had been. Her mother said, “It was a good thing that every animal on Cramp’s farm was a pet. You and Dee might have been chased or killed and even eaten by Mama Sow. It was fun, but it could have turned out to be a real tragedy. Children should always tell their elders where they are going and what they are going to do.” On that summer afternoon no one saw the girls crawl into the house and no one knew they were there.

Crescence Stadeble 
DeKalb, Illinois

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.

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