We learned a little about Benjamin Powell “Dock” Gurganus and his wife Trannie, in an earlier blog post that I shared HERE. Recently, cousin Betty shared an additional story about Dock that her mother told her. Knowing his determination to have peach pie, I was delighted to learn about his tender side. This is the story Betty shared:
“Doc’s sow had a litter of pigs including one little runt that the sow pushed aside and refused to feed. Since he knew it would die, Dock took it and bottle-fed it.
As it grew, it followed him around wherever he went on the farm. He named it Little P. One super hot summer day, friends and some family members came by for a visit and were sitting on the porch, talking and enjoying each other’s company, trying to stay cool.
Dock walked to the edge of the porch where the well was located and lowered the well bucket down into the well.
He waited for the telltale gurgle as water filled the bucket, then drew it back up. He held it over the drinking bucket and pulled the lever, so that the fresh, cool water filled the bucket. He rehung the well bucket and placed the dipper into the drinking bucket. He took a few swallows and then threw the rest of the water in the dipper on Little P, who was lying on the end of the porch.
Dock thought the water would cool off Little P. Instead, the pig let out a high-pitched squeal, rolled onto his back, kicked a couple of times, pitched over and died. The cold water had caused it to have a heart attack!
Dock stood there a few seconds, then turned to his wife and said, slowly and deliberately, “My– goodness, –Trannie,– I–have–killed–Little P.” People on the porch did not know whether to laugh or cry. so they did a little of both.”
Oh if only I had more stories like this about my ancestors! Learning about our ancestor’s life experiences and how they handled them helps me feel as if I know them, endears them to me and makes me glad we’re kin. Thanks once again Betty for sharing with us!
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved
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15 thoughts on “The Adventures of “Little P””
Michelle, my Dad and my grandparents loved to tell stories. I remember sitting around as a kid and hearing the same stories and jokes many times. Sadly, only some of them stuck with me and the rest are lost. Wouldn't it be grand to be able to sit a spell and listen to our ancestors talk? If only……..
I don't know whether to laugh or cry either.
Poor Little P and Dock! I never heard of a pig acting like a pup.
Oh Diane, I would so love to sit around and hear them tell their stories!
I am the same, I remember a few and others are lost. I sure have enjoyed having a few people write me and share a story they were told as a kid though.
I felt the same way Wendy. Poor Little P.
When we first moved to our current home, it was very rural and there was someone a little ways from us who had a potbelly pig and they said it was so tame and would follow them around. I would get perturbed with the thing because he often was crossing the road when I drove down it and I would have to stop and wait. Potbelly pigs can get quite big and he walked sooo slow.
All I can say is, "How sad!"
Aww! Poor Little P. And poor Dock. So sad!
I'd be horrified if it had been me that tried to cool off Little P, but "killed him off" instead. Poor baby. But you shared a great story, Michelle!
I agree with Jana… Poor Little P & poor Dock!
It really is!
I loved seeing the tender side of Dock in this story.
I would be too Becky! I was so glad Betty shared it with me so that I could share it with others.
After the trouble of bottle feeding the little thing, to have it die like that is really sad.
How fun to see a different side of Dock!