Domesticated pigs evolved from Eurasian wild boars, Sus scofra. About 9,000 years ago, humans selected particular traits from these boars to keep; however, domestication was a long and varied process across the world. Interestingly, pigs – perhaps like many domesticated animals, did not follow a straightforward path from wild animal to farmyard domesticate. Like goats and dogs, there are many breeds of pigs today including heirloom breeds that harken back to previous traits that were favorable for pigs, like my friend here today who I met years ago in Coffee County, Georgia at General Coffee State Park.
Well, as the world is locking down and preparing for the great waiting out of the corona catastrophe, I once again am pausing March of Pigs to bring you a bit of history. I am not sure where this originated from, but one of my friends sent it along and it is too good not to share.
If you are reading this blog, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well and that you have a comfy place to shelter and access to all that you need to get through.
There is a saying that “Rome was not built in a day” which is absolutely true! It took over a millennia from Rome to expand from a city on the Tiber to an empire reaching from the farthest corners of Europe across the Fertile Crescent and Northern Africa. Most likely, your goal is probably not inter-continental domination, so luckily whatever it is you are trying to accomplish won’t take that long, so keep at it. If it is important to you, then it is absolutely worth the wait.
In addition, today’s goat is a friend of a friend of mine. Her name is Cindy and judging from her easy grin, she quite likes October so far.
Today is the longest day of the entire year, if you live in the northern hemisphere. Because the planet Earth (the one we live on) rotates around the sun on a tilted axis, certain parts of the planet get more or less sun depending on the time of year. Basically, billions of years ago, when our solar system was being formed, tons of bits of mass collided together to form mini planets, which then collided together to form proto-planets, which eventually became most of what our planet is now. Then, another pro-planet collided with the prelude to Earth and put us on our lovely little tilt which is reasonable for the seasons. Amazing! And the seasons are a big part of why life was able to flourish on our planet. Incredible how things tend to all fall into place like that!
Reflect on how far you’ve come. It may not seem like it everyday, but you have actually accomplished quite a bit and your existence makes someone else’s life a bit brighter and happier. Don’t look back in regret, look back with admiration for all you have survived. Look back to build strength to push forward – if you have made it this far the possibilities about how far you will go are endless!
Today is May Day, or International Workers’ Day. Interestingly, May Day originated in Chicago, Illinois, where demonstrators organised in May of 1886 after a two year effort to rally support for enforcement of eight hour work days. The Haymarket Meeting was put to an end by over zealous police officers who stormed the otherwise peaceful meeting demanding more equitable and safer working conditions. Eight men were arrested for involvement with the riot, although some of them were not even at the event, four were executed, three eventually pardoned, and one died mysteriously in a jail cell from the impact of a dynamite explosion. Needless to say, in 1889, at an international meeting for labor in Paris, May Day was designated as International Workers Day in honor of those who were lost in the fight for an eight hour working day. Although, not really celebrated in the United States anymore, May Day maintains international significance, and is widely a day of celebration and/or protest to continue the fight for better working conditions across the globe.
So, thank you to the brave men and women who stood up for the eight hour working day a century ago.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”
Wise words, I guess. The above quote is often attributed to Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln, but the truth is that no one really knows. Such “wise” statements are often attributed to a many different people including they are just cliches that get constantly repeated Perhaps instead of invoking the words of people long gone (not discounting their achievements and importance in history of course) we should make our own quotes and define our own wisdom!
Make sure you get a chance to look outside this evening because there is a fantastic full moon known as the Pink Moon. The Pink Moon will not actually appear pink, but was rather named for wild ground phlox which typically sprouts during this time of year. Often, you might hear different full moons called different things, such as a Wolf Moon or a Harvest Moon, and many of these names can be attributed to Algonquin people who inhabited eastern North America before the European invasion. Pink or not, it is a beautiful sight to see!
I have always been a fan of Thursdays. It is the day day before Friday, and the work week is officially almost done. Thursday was named for the Norse god Thor, and at some point in the distant past it was known as Thor’s Day. Thor was known for wielding a giant hammer and riding a chariot that was drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. These goats were pretty badass, and pulled Thor’s thunder chariot on his many adventures and epics. You may not have met many goats that you would associate with heroic behavior, but I think inside even the most adorable caprine lies the spirit of a badass goat pulling a thunder chariot triumphantly towards the weekend!
Many goats are so beloved by the communities they live in. For example, recently in the United States, the town of Fair Haven, Vermont, elected a goat named Lincoln to preside as mayor. The village of Cushendun in Northern Ireland had a similar beloved town goat; however, Johann, to my knowledge, never held elected office. He served the village of Cushendun as a volunteer greeter to visitors hoping to enjoy the Victorian architecture settled along the sea. Sadly, Johann served Cushendun until 2001, when he was the last animal to put to rest during the great Foot and Mouth Outbreak that brought the agriculture to a halt in the United Kingdom. Many people now visit Cushendun because it was the setting of an infamous scene from the popular television show Game of Thrones when sorceress Melisandre birthed a shadow. If you find yourself looking for the cave of the shadow baby, you can’t miss the statue built to celebrate the life of Johann the goat, welcoming you to the village.