Hog Disappears in Oklahoma's Creek Nation

Family's lard supply - a small hog - goes missing in Oklahoma's Creek Nation.

| Good Old Days

My parents lived in the Creek Nation, part of the Indian Territory, before Oklahoma became a state. The Native Americans were friendly, although they resented the fact that their hunting grounds had been spoiled by settlers, and they felt entitled to take food whenever they wanted.

The first years were difficult for settlers and natives alike. My father had bought a small pig in the early spring and nourished it carefully all summer with table scraps and waste milk. He planned to fatten it on the acorns from the jack-oak woods in the fall. On that little pig, the meat and lard supply for the family depended.

The first days of October found the pig in good condition, weighing about 250 pounds. Each day he would forage in the woods and at night he would return.

"As soon as the weather turns cold, we'll butcher that hog," Father promised. How we all looked forward to the event. Fresh meat was very scarce, for not every family had a hog. Neighbors miles away knew they would have a treat, a "mess of meat," whenever another homesteader butchered.

Then one evening the hog failed to come home. Mother was worried at once, but Father said, "Now, Mother, the acorns are falling faster, and he isn't hungry enough to hurry home anymore. Besides, he's earmarked with my mark – a crop, a split and an underbit in the right ear!"

"I know," answered Mother, ''but that earmark won't help you a bit after the ear is eaten!" So Father started out to hunt for the hog.

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