Evie loved pigs. Our father took my sister to see Charlotte’s Web on her 11th birthday. It was the only time he ever took just one of us to the movies. So Evie was really really excited when Mami said we were going to see real live pigs. We were all excited. Since we were from Brooklyn, we had never seen wild animals before. The Bronx Zoo didn’t count.
It was hot when we got into Titi’s car. We drove a long way. We were falling asleep in the car when Titi Evelyn stopped. The dirt was dusty, and there were metal and concrete buildings with big openings. You could see, if you looked hard, big animals moving around in there.
“What is that smell?” Fever said.
“Yeah, it smells bad,” I said.
“Is this where the pigs are?” Evie said. “Ooh ooh, I see them.”
“C’mon, kids,” Ma said.
Our mother told us we could go look at the pigs but not to get lost. We walked quickly toward the pens and finally saw THE PIGS. “Oh my god.” “Look at how big they are.” “Can we touch them?” “They’re fat like you are, Evie.” “Shut up!”
I looked around for Mami. She was with Titi, talking to a thin man with a big mustache. They were laughing.
My sister yelled, “Look at that one.”
I followed her finger. There, alone inside a pen, was a giant. A pig that could live easily in the Valley of Gwangi. A Gargantua pig. Pink and hairy, with black and white spots. It was bigger than our plastic-covered couch in Brooklyn.
“I wish we could take him for a ride,” I said.
“You don’t ride pigs, stupid,” my sister said. “I want to take his picture!”
We ran to Mami and asked her for the camera.
“Why?” Mami asked.
“We want to take a picture of this really big pig,” my brother said.
She laughed through her cigarette. She said, “Okay, but not too much.”