Posting another Take Ten for Writers exercise. This one was called “Captain of Captivating Captions.”
In this exercise I had to pretend I was a reporter for a small-town newspaper. I’m handed a photo of a recent event and I have to write a caption and a story for the photo in ten minutes.
I had to choose a number between 1 and 10. I chose 2. The photo associated with that number was a picture of an enormous pig.
At first I went, oh, man, why did I get a photo of pig? I don’t know anything about pigs. My grandparents had pigs on their farm, and when I was little my parents took us kids down to visit them every Easter, but because my grandparents were really old-fashioned, they still had an outhouse and that outhouse was right next to where they kept their pigs and I can still hear those pigs and I can still smell those pigs and those darn pigs scared me half to death.
But that’s what great about these timed writing exercises. The moment you just let go and go with the flow of writing, you never know what’s going to appear on the page. That’s why I like doing‘em. 🙂
So here’s my imaginary article for my imaginary newspaper.
Roger Cobb’s Ginormous Pig Defends off a Pack of Wild Dogs
Last Saturday’s incident at the Cobb farm will no doubt live on and, perhaps, even become legendary in the annals of the county of Northwilde, Montana. As many of you know, Roger Cobb’s pigs are famous, not only in our fair county but throughout the entire state. Roger has raised pigs since he was a kid. He had to fight tooth and nail to do so, however. He’d been born a Cobb and the Cobbs have always been cattle folk. They don’t have anything against pigs, but cattle raising has been in the Cobb family for the last one hundred and fifty years.
But Roger always had his mind set on raising pigs. No one knew why. He just did. So his mother, Alicia Cobb, in defiance of both her husband and her father-in-law, got Roger a pig. And then she got him another and another and soon Roger was raising some of the finest pigs in the state. As a teen he won just about every award for pig raising you could win at both the county and state fairs. He even won a national award on his twentieth birthday, which was the same day he asked Jenny Polk to marry him.
Roger’s been raising pigs for over twenty years. But this year he happened to breed the largest pig anyone had ever laid eyes on. People came from all around, even from as far off as Helena, to see Roger’s big pig. As large as it was, though, that pig was as docile and gentle as a lamb. It would let kids ride it and folks could lean over the fence and pet and stroke it and that pig would snort and snuffle just like a cat purring. As a matter of fact, that pig was so loveable and so sweet Roger did something he’d never done with any of his pigs. He gave her a name. Clementine.
Last Saturday, while Jenny Polk-Cobb was off visiting relatives and Roger was alone recovering from the flu, a pack of wild dogs happened onto the farm and they took to biting and attacking whatever they came across.
Roger came running out with his gun and, although he was still weak from the flu, he was not about to let those vicious mongrels kill off his pigs. One of the dogs, unfortunately, managed to get his teeth into Roger’s leg and it brought him down before he could fire his gun.
Roger said he thought he was a goner for sure as those dogs began to close in on him. Just as he was about to make peace with his Maker, he happened to look up and he saw Clementine forcing her way through the fence that surrounded her pen and, once she was free, she ran straight into that pack of dogs and, even though they all tried to get their teeth into her to bring her down too, she was so big and so strong and so intent on saving Roger that before you could lay lickety-split those dogs took off howling. Once they were gone, Clementine then stood guard over Roger until his wife Jenny returned and called 911.
Roger is doing just fine and should be back at his farm in a few days. As he recovers, he’s made it quite clear that there’s no way in hell he’s ever going to sell Clementine or turn her into enormous slabs of bacon or gigantic sides of ham. No way!