The branches of the majestic oak tree cloaked the area with shade, protecting the moist ground from the oppressive summer sun. A sturdily constructed shelter was situated there surrounded by a gated hurricane fence. Safety and comfort were available in abundance. I would provide luscious dishes of all sorts of; fresh fruits, vegetables, melons, breads of varying grains and of course cooked rice. I would play my accordion for her and take leisurely strolls through the woods off of Larabie Pitt Road- she wanted for nothing.
I had raised her since she was merely a suckling pig- 4 lbs. soaking wet! Fabous was the name that I chose for her and she would run to me when I called for her. The first few nights she stayed in my tiny hermitage on the Bayou Vermilion. I would bathe her and curl her up in a beach towel and watch her fall asleep. She was house trained and within a short time she weighed in at 300 lbs. She would shriek with excitement when I arrived home from work at night. Fabous often waited for me on the screen porch on the front of the one bedroom house located on that isolated gravel road. A better pet never existed.
As with most livestock, a day came when I was supposed to have a big barbeque and invite family and friends to feast on a fattened hog. I believe that I cried all night long thinking about the fate of that poor Pig. After some deliberation I finally decided that she would be spared and kept for breeding stock. Fabous would live out the rest of her days as a spoiled and kept girl. We still had our big barbeque the next day. The meat was all store bought from our family supermarket, Breaux’s Mart. The meal was enjoyed by everyone present including my precious pet pig. She consumed all of the scraps and left over side dishes of sweet potatoes, pork and beans and cantaloupe. Boy I sure did get some sideway looks and was the butt of quite a few jokes that day!
I often reflect on this experience which occurred years ago when I was a much younger man. It is strange how our early experiences eventually affect our worldviews. I have little points like this in my life which act to ground me to the basics. I often feel as a stranger in a strange land when I look around at what is going on in this country these days. I am not the sharpest tack in the box, but, in my opinion we are on the wrong road heading in the wrong direction. In my heart I believe that the answer is in living a simpler life and becoming more loving and humble. There was a man who came here a couple of thousand years ago in order to teach us to do so- it did not end well for him! I guess I am preaching mostly to myself because I think we have to constantly remind ourselves of what is really important. It is like keeping a garden free of grass and watered properly in order to produce a good harvest.
I still raise all sorts of animals at my farm located in St. Martin Parish and it has never gotten any easier to harvest one of my livestock. There have been sleepless nights waiting for a mother goat to deliver her kids or sitting in the dark with a gun watching for varmint trying to eat my chickens. I still get teased by my friends for living such a lifestyle- now so foreign to most. I know look forward to growing old on that farm and learning more about nature and myself. I still think of old Fabous every once and a while and crack a smile. When I do so, at that moment I am the same 20 year old boy as I was back then.
Karl A. Breaux
a.k.a. Cajun Karl