There is quite a resurgence of interest in local farming these days, and I am reminded of a little story about a pig that happened about 1959.
Friends of ours were living on a farm in Otter Point. Though the man of the house (we’ll call him Lou) drove to work every day at an Esquimalt shipyard, the couple enjoyed the rural life of a small farm. Lou stocked the place with cattle and pigs.
One day Lou borrowed a panel truck from his friend Larry Sutherland. His own vehicle wasn’t adequate, as he needed to transport his sow pig in to Metchosin for a rendezvous with a boar at another farm that had a large pig herd.
So he brought the truck from Larry’s Saseenos home out to Otter Point and bright and early next morning, loaded in the big heavy sow. Detouring to Metchosin on his way to work at the shipyard, Lou watched the pig happily join the herd. Returning in the evening, he loaded the pig back into the panel truck, got back onto the Sooke Road and headed west.
The pig stood in the panel truck, contentedly watching over Lou’s shoulder as they made their way home, the route passing through Dewdney Flats, where the market garden fields stood ripe with cabbages. Suddenly, traffic on the long straight road ahead forced Lou to brake sharply, and the big sow lurched forward, landing on top of Lou, who was flattened.
The sow’s forelegs rammed through the steering wheel, while the panel truck careened forward and Lou was pushed aside. Imagine the shock of oncoming drivers who found themselves trying to avoid a vehicle charging wildly towards them with a pig at the wheel!
While Lou suffered bruises and Larry’s panel suffered as well, the pig ended up happy enough, for when the truck overturned, she gorged herself munching on cabbages.
Post script: While we have to apologize that the pig shown is not Lou’s, it is indeed a legitimate Otter Point pig, because it was photographed last week on another historic Otter Point farm, now owned by Ed Tuson.
Elida Peers, Historian
Sooke Region Museum