Few people realize the dependability and reliability of boa constrictors as working animals. My boa Slinky is a great help to me in my pig-raising business. Pigs are very intelligent, but they don’t always use their minds for worthwhile purposes. As a matter of fact, if you don’t keep an eye on them, they can make a real mess out of things.
Because of other commitments, I’m sometimes away and unable to keep an eye on the sty myself. Left to their own devices, those pesky pigs would quickly be off roaming hither and yon. On two occasions when I was out of town, I left Slinky in charge. The first time, he was new to the duty and one of the pigs escaped. We never did find her. Slinky felt so bad about losing that pig that he didn’t eat for a week. I really felt sorry for him.
The second time, I decided to give him a mentor, an animal to show him the way to keep watch. I brought in a small Irish Sheep Dog who I was assured had an excellent record. As it turned out, the dog was totally untrustworthy. When I returned the next day, he had run off to Lord knows where. Even though my pigs were none the worse for the dog’s dereliction, I could tell Slinky was unhappy with the way things turned out because he went several days before he ate again. My heart went out to him.
I am growing a bit concerned about Slink’s high sense of duty. His constant fasting when things don’t go perfectly could weaken him so that he might be unable to fight off a predator. I’ve assured him again and again that he is not to blame for the errors of other animals, but it’s hard to tell from the expression on his face or his hisses whether he agrees.
Tomorrow I’ll take my pigs off to the fair where I’ll exhibit them for several days and hopefully conclude a few sales. While I’m there, Slinky will stand guard over my empty sty against the vandals in the neighborhood. My wife has promised she’ll stop by in a couple of days to feed him.