I posed for my Father with my best happy smile, grinning from ear to ear, as I did a little twirl for Dad – and anyone else that wanted to see the prettiest cowgirl ever.
Pigs are judged not only for beefy and beautiful hams but for their manners, obedience, cleanliness, and showmanship too.
“They want to see your pig respects its master,” Dad had instructed.
To get a prize I had to teach her how to obey me and lead her by a cane. The higher up, the more strict the judges are. We had to teach our pigs to stand still when a judge is looking, walk when a judge wants it to, and have manners. If the pigs fight they can be disqualified. If they decide to roll in the dirt, there is no chance.
We were given a number which was a ticket for a stall. They are separated into 5 groups. Slowly they began to eliminate pig after pig until finally, it came down to the final few pigs. Lottie was one of them!
We were very excited. I took her back to the stall where my family praised me and patted my back.
“Proud of you Sis.”
Oh yes, I gloated, though the truth was I really felt a little nervous. Waiting for the final round, my family helped me wash my beautiful big pink Lottie.
“I’m so proud of you,” I said in her ear. I used Dawn dish soap on her back and picked up my brush. I didn’t realize it would be the last time. I scrubbed her short, course pink hair and gave her a little pep talk.
“Lottie, you have been such a good girl, but I need you to put on your best behavior. We really need to win this. We both have worked hard for this.”
Jared asked if he could spray her off. After all, he needed to learn because next year he will be old enough. He could use the practice. I stood back while my brother sprayed her off. I used the baby oil to rub Lottie down- back, neck legs and hams.
“Lottie were going to do so great!”
The loudspeakers called for the last round. Picking up my cane, I guided her and she proudly marched her way out to the ring. I felt nervous. What if she gets wild and decides to bite?
“STOP!” I commanded my fear demon. “Don’t let yourself go buggy!“ I took a deep breath before the stomach ache I got whenever I was put on the spot got worse.
I patted Lottie lovingly on the back as we walked out in the ring. This time it was so much tenser. Not only did I have to be in perfect unity with Lottie, but have all eyes on the judge on me. I kept moving. This was time for the showmanship.