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Monday, September 27, 2010


           Farm County Gazette announces the birth of William Lee Hill to Benjamin Lee Hill and June Mary Hill. Farm country local news such as births make front page, after corn, soybeans and livestock prices. It's all about priorities.
            Benjamin, Benny as everyone calls him has a local farm and grows corn and soybeans. Benny just like his father, Vernon raise only high quality hogs sold exclusively to W. R. Prime Grocers for 30 years. Benny believes their success comes from growing and making the feed "right" here on the farm. Vernon was upset with what the manufacturers were putting in their feed. That decision is why he became partners with W. R. Prime grocers.
           Bill Lee as mom and dad call him was extremely healthy and good natured. He also has the distinction of being the first baby delivered by the new doctor in town, Doc Andrew Jones. June repeatedly reminded Benny not to take Bill Lee to see the pigs. She knew he would sooner or later do that very thing. Benny snuck Bill Lee to the barn to meet his pigs at 3 months of age. Benny introduces baby Bill Lee to his sows, (mother pigs). The sows sniff the baby and make a high pitch squeal that Benny has never heard before, he later tells June "they understood he was my baby". She laughs at that but knows Benny talks to the pigs and was taught that by his father.
           Vernon explains, animals pick up on peoples actions their tone of voice and demeanor. If you're calm and talk to them everything will go smoothly. If your loud and mean they will respond the same way. Vernon was the undisputed expert around this area. Benny has seen his dad in action numerous times at fairs and exhibits, calming unruly sows, as well as people. His favorite story about his father was watching him at the state fair. When a intoxicated man was mistreating a young sow. You don't do that around Vernon. Vernon was a large man hardened from a lifetime of physical work. He always wore coveralls with blue denim shirts, he would cut the seams of the short sleeve shirts so that he would not rip them out when he sticks his arms in because of  his biceps. Vernon calmly told the drunk "no". He looks at Vernon and hands him the pipe that he was aggravating the sow with. The very next day Vernon goes to buy that sow and the man apologizes to him and explains he normally wasn't like that, he drank too much. Vernon gave that man some of his time and believe the man to be sincere and invites him to his farm. He shows the young farmer how he runs his hog farm and instead of dad beating sense into that man he taught that young farmer how to treat his livestock, That young man changed his ways and became successful; coincidentally that young frightened sow become one of dad's prized producers. Benny learned a valuable lesson that day. He told that story to June and she ask "what did you learn". Benny laughs and tells her, "if I was to see a farmer wearing overalls so big that he cut his arms out before tearing them, I would pass out".
         The higher pitch squeal is only made when Bill Lee was around. When he started walking father and son stroll the barn talking to the pigs. After and da..da.. was the names of the sows. The sows sniff Bill Lee and wait for him to pet them, then let out what Benny refers to as a laughing squeal. Benny believes they accept little Bill Lee as one of their own. Vernon tells the story slightly different, he said "the sows smell what was in his diaper and it's worse than what comes out of them and that's what them there pigs was laughing at". Mother Hill found that terribly funny and already feeling sorry for what Bill Lee would have to go through, here on the farm.
           Bill Lee was large for his age, June and Benny admit he will be big like grandpa Vernon. At age 3 the proud parents tuck him into bed. Mom wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to check on Bill Lee, he wasn't there. She screams for Benny. The front screen door was wide open, he runs to the barn knowing how much Bill Lee loves his pigs. His favorite was Beulah only his words come out "Blu-lah". Sure enough, there was room, he could of squeezed through the door. Benny runs to Beulah's pen. There is baby Bill Lee wearing superman pajamas playing with Beulah's newborns. Beulah had given birth to them earlier in the day, he wakes up and has to see them. Headline material and thus the legend of Bill Lee Hill begins.
           Mom and dad Bill Lee proofed the house. By age 5 Bill Lee was helping with the chores needless to say talking to every pig. Benny soon realizes Bill Lee's rapport with the pigs goes way beyond his and Vernon's abilities. To move the sows into another pen simply use Bill Lee. If the piglets escape their pen, get Bill Lee. He was the piggy "Pied Piper". He was showing sows and winning everything at age 5. Front page Farm Country Gazette, Bill Lee Hill wins all at state fair. When the time comes for the sows to have a litter, Benny allows Bill Lee to assist because the sows remain calm and their delivery goes easier.
           The Hill barn is not your average barn. The pigs are raised in an environmentally controlled state of the arts, "pigs are king" type barn.
           June arrives home one day carrying a baby goat. She found the poor thing shivering and baa-ing with all it's might. She stops and spots a larger goat lying off the road. The little goat runs to her for help. June places the female goat in the cab of her pickup. She starts to leave but cannot allow the mother goat to lay there like that. She uses all her strength and determination to heave the mother goat into the back. They bury the mother goat on the farm as the little one watches. June bottle feeds her and raises the little one.  She names her Highway and has a companion as she walks around the farm. Vernon said "that little booger minds you better than a 1000$ German Shepherd.
           Bill Lee is now 6 and June gives birth to James Richarh Hill. He has a baby brother he laughs and says "more babies to play with".
           Highway is the mother of Bill Lee's famous extrodinary goat "Goat"