Gertie was a scared and malnourished young pig when she arrived at the sanctuary. She was found wandering the streets of a nearby town and taken to the local animal shelter. The shelter tried to find her owner, but no one claimed her. We won her in a livestock auction.
When Gertie first came to the sanctuary, the other pigs immediately noticed how different she looked. “Who is that pink and skinny animal with the white tufts of hair? Is that a pig? Is she coming to live here with us?”
Gertie heard their talk and felt embarrassed. She knew she was different than the other pigs. She was much smaller in size, and her skin was light in color. You could see her bones from months of not eating properly. But she knew she was in the right place. She was tired of being scared and alone.
Gertie spent her days exploring the woods and taking in the wonders of nature. She loved to lie in sunny spots in the leaves and relax on her back with her soft pink belly sticking up in the air. The squirrels and birds were attracted to Gertie’s peaceful nature, and they often came to sit with her while she sunbathed.
Over the weeks, Gertie blossomed in weight and gained strength. Her tufts of hair slowly turned into a beautiful shiny white coat, and her sad eyes became bright with wonder. Soon, her differences became her greatest treasures. One of those treasures was her voice. She sang like an angel!
One day, Daisy asked, “Little Gertie, I've never seen a pig like you. You don’t look like us. You don’t sound like us. Are you really a pig?” Daisy was jealous of Gertie and didn’t like her to get so much attention.
Gertie responded, “Yes, Daisy, I really am a pig, and I know that I’m different. But we’re all different in some way, and that’s what makes us unique. Look at you with those spots. None of the other pigs have spots. But your spots are beautiful, and they make you special.”
Daisy always thought her spots were ugly, and she often rolled around in the mud to cover them up. Now, she looked at her spots and wondered. She also looked at the other pigs. She noticed Mandy's short stumpy legs, Stella's fat cheeks, and Lucy's tall ears that stood straight up when she got excited.
Gertie continued, “Daisy, keep looking around you. All our differences make us who we are. Can you imagine if all of us looked exactly the same? And if we all talked and walked the same? Can you imagine how boring life would be?”
Later that evening, the pigs gathered around Gertie as she sang them to sleep. Daisy thought about how Gertie’s voice sounded like a symphony of angels. She carefully picked the mud off her spots, gently covered them in warm straw, and drifted off to sleep.