DINO, GODZILLA AND THE PIGS by Mary Elizabeth Fricke


My Life on Our Missouri Hog Farm
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 A woman's journal of days on a central Missouri farm reveals a life of incredibly endless work--and of devotion to the land that amounts to modern-day pantheism. Fricke recalls that when she prepared to go to town (Hermann, pop. 2754) looking for a job, her husband proposed that she help on the farm instead. And so, in addition to being a homemaker and mother to two children, the author became a full-time farmhand. Fricke's first job was clipping the tusks and tails of, and vaccinating, one hundred three-day-old piglets. Here, the terror she feels as she reaches beneath a looming 600-pound sow to clutch a nursing piglet is palpable: When she gasps out of the farrowing room five hours later for a job that should have taken one hour, the farmhands are laughing at her. Fricke learns to drive the smallest tractor on the farm and works up to bigger and bigger tractors until she can operate Godzilla--a huge disk (the modern plow) pulled behind an enormous John Deere tractor--then Dino, a grain combine with five-foot wheels that reminds her of a brontosaurus. The dangers of farming--exposure to fertilizers and herbicides, in-close work with machinery, erratic weather--make for high stress, Fricke says. Moreover, the flooding Missouri and torrential rains carry away profits, and, even in bumper seasons, grain prices may drop so low that selling means losing money. A vivid diary of life on the family farm today. (Sixteen b&w photographs--not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-939149-96-6
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Soho
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993