Farmer Minor Brings Daisy the Pig to Bellingham
Bulletin Contributing Writer
It was a little startling to walk into the Bellingham Public Library for the closing program of the summer reading program and see what looked like a miniature whale settled in an oversized baby carriage. On closer inspection, this “whale” was in fact Daisy, the pot-bellied pig, saving her energy for “the show,” which was billed as “Farmer Minor and Daisy the Pig.” Daisy’s owner, Farmer Minor (first name, “Farmer,” according to Farmer Minor) began the program with a smile as he announced, “I’m the luckiest farmer in the world! I’ve had two of the world’s most famous pigs.” He explained that this is the second Daisy, the first having died recently, after 14 years on his farm, while the second Daisy is, in fact a “he.”
“And what are they famous for?” he asked. “They’re famous because they love libraries!”
Farmer Minor shared the story of his wife’s missing the noise and activity around the farm house once their own children had grown up and left home. “We need a baby,” Minor quoted his wife as saying. “A baby pig!”
Farmer Minor professed that he had been quite happy with the peace and quiet, but soon the first Daisy entered their life and worked her way right into their hearts. So how did they end up traveling the country showing off Daisy the pig? “It was that darn librarian in Hartford, CT, who first asked me to bring Daisy to the library,” Minor said with a smile. “Pretty soon we were bringing Daisy to nursing homes, schools, and libraries. I was in the corporate world, and I got so busy with both jobs I had to decide what I’d do. I was having so much fun I retired fourteen years ago, and we’ve been traveling the country visiting libraries and convalescent homes ever since. During the week we have school groups come to our farm.”
Minor delighted in slipping in puns, such as, “Daisy was ‘hogging’ the bed.” But he also used the show as an opportunity to educate. No, Daisy has never pooped in their bed, which Daisy sleeps in every night; yes, Daisy snores--“But not as much as I do!” Minor confessed with an impish smile.
Daisy remained calm in the oversized carriage while he showed off a “key to the city” awarded to Daisy, then held up a large poster filled with library cards from around the country with Daisy’s name on them. But when Farmer Minor brought out some of Daisy’s pig books, Daisy sat up and took notice.
Minor explained that he reads one book to his pig every night before they go to sleep, then proceeded to show the children how much Daisy enjoyed reading. He settled into his white rocking chair next to Daisy. The 100+ pound pig settled his nose on Minor’s leg. Clearly this is a favorite routine for them.
The complacent pig also became quite animated when Minor sneaked a box of raisins from his shirt pocket. Daisy’s sense of smell is quite keen. Minor put a raisin (Daisy’s favorite treat) between his teeth and fed Daisy the raisin. And then Youth Services Librarian Steve Fowler was drafted to give Daisy another raisin. It probably is not in his job description, but Fowler stepped up and pulled the trick off.
Minor then invited the children to come up to “hug a pig,” which some children took to better than others. Minor sat next to Daisy, urging the children to take a risk. “Go on, kiss a pig!” he urged. Parents lined up to get pictures of their little ones petting the bristly pig. A few brave ones did, indeed, kiss the very calm pig.
At the end of the program Farmer Minor asked Mr. Steve to be sure to get him a paper copy of The Bellingham Bulletin when this article is published. “We have multiple posters of all the articles written about Daisy,” he explained. “Teachers have the children pick one town to study about where Daisy has visited. I’d love to add Bellingham, MA, as another town for children to learn about!”
And so the story of Daisy the pig continues.
Thanks to the Friends of the Bellingham Library and Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation for their support of this program. For more information about Daisy and Farmer Minor go to www.pigoutonreading.com.