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  • Writer's pictureAccokeek Foundation

The Hog Blog: A Hog’s-Eye View of Children’s Day

by “Sally”

Rocky and Sally on the National Colonial Farm.

When word came down that this year’s Children’s Day would be celebrating the life and work of colonial apprentices, I got a little nervous. Schoolchildren on field trips to the National Colonial Farm are always asked, “What are pigs used for?”—which is followed by a lot of talk about ham and bacon. I was relieved to hear that the apprentice activities planned for “How Things Were Made: Colonial Apprentice” were things like blacksmithing, woodworking, and churning butter. There was no mention of anything involving pork.

I asked Tricia, our Coordinator of Public Programs, if she wanted me to do anything special during the Accokeek Foundation’s annual event. She said, “Well, Sally, it would be really nice if you didn’t spend the whole day napping.” Napping? What does she take me for? A lazy pig? I was about to utter a snide retort, when she added, “After all, you are our star attraction.” Ah, well. She had a point.

A.J. was the first apprentice to run by the pigpen, intent on getting to the blacksmith station. When he stopped by to visit me later, he proudly displayed the S-hook he had crafted with help from my secret flame, blacksmith Tim Buckley, who taught his apprentices the origin of the phrase, “Strike while the iron is hot.” Don’t you just love a man in colonial britches?

Planting tobacco at this year's Children's Day.

All afternoon, the sweet smell of Johnnycakes spread with fresh-churned butter wafted over from the kitchen and the shouts of children playing colonial games echoed out from the Tobacco Yard. It was a fabulous day of fun at the farm. And, though I am a star attraction, please know that the fame has not gone to my head. I am very approachable, and I love having visitors (as do the rest of the farm’s menagerie). You can come see us each and every day—it’s fun, and free!

P.S. Inky, that teenybopper sheep, is now being mentored by Yours Truly. And if you are wondering who that woman is with the lamb following her everywhere, it’s not Mary, but Polly, our new Livestock Manager.

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