May 21, 09
Read in May, 2009
Summary: Montgomery's books on exotic wildlife (Journey of the Pink Dolphins, etc.) take her to the far corners of the world, but the story of her closest relationships with the animal kingdom plays out in her own New England backyard. When she adopts a sickly runt from a litter of pigs, naming him Christopher Hogwood after the symphony conductor, raising him for slaughter isn't an option: Montgomery's a vegetarian and her husband is Jewish. Refitting their barn to accommodate a (mostly) secure sty, they keep Christopher as a pet. As he swells to 750 pounds, he becomes a local celebrity, getting loose frequently enough that the local police officer knows to carry spare apples to lure him back home. The pig also bonds with Montgomery's neighbors, especially two children who come over to help feed him and rub his tummy. Montgomery's love for Christopher (and later for Tess, an adopted border collie) dominates the memoir's emotional space, but she's also demonstrably grateful for the friendships the pig sparks within her community. The humor with which she recounts Christopher's meticulous eating habits and love of digging up turf is sure to charm readers.
I never thought I would read a book about a 750lb pet pig. But, indeed I have.
Sy Montgomery's memoir about her beloved pet pig is a cross between a latter-day Noah's tale and Wilbur in Charlotte's Web, minus the spider but with the addition of "The Ladies" and Tess, her rescued border collie.
I am not an animal love, nor owner, but after reading about Sy's menagerie, I'm ready to move to a farm with lots of animals and start feeding my scraps to a rotund pig! This was a light, manageable book (I finished it in two days). It was a delight to read.