Hear a tale from grandma

By Shanna Fanelli
December 7, 2000

Grandmothers like to think a lot of things are important. Usually their ideas tend to clash with everyone else’s, but it doesn’t stop them from trying to impose their thoughts, words of wisdom or anything in general that strikes their fancy on family members. I guess it’s a part of the grandparent tradition.

It was on one such Sunday morning that my grandmother really needed to share a story she had come across in the car with us. Without hesitation, she read aloud from the fine print of a pamphlet the bald guy from church had handed out.

Now, I adore my grandmother and am lucky that she is a genuinely cool gal. She is petite with silver hair styled in a pixie cut, owns a closet full of GAP, Nordstorm and vintage finds and can cook a mean pumpkin pie. She is also energetic, fun and possesses the ability to scrub the stripes off a zebra, her cleaning abilities are that phenomenal. I am also lucky, as is the rest of my family, that what she tends to think of as important, usually is.

And if it’s not it’s just damn amusing and provides a good laugh for the rest of us.

The story she told us that early Sunday morning was worth repeating. Since this is supposed to be the season of giving, good will and such, I’m going to share this story with all of you. It’s about a conversation between a pig and a cow. (Seriously, it’s good).

One day a pig and a cow were out in the field together. The pig looked at the cow and said, “I’m so much better than you. I am valued more because I provide good meat to nourish people.” He nodded his snout and smugly continued, “I provide strong hide that can be used for many products and farmers feed me well and treat me good because of all the uses I am able to offer. You are used for milk, meat and hide as well, but I have more variety for uses.”

The cow chewed on her cud and thought about what the pig had said. “What you say is true Pig,” she responded. “You do have more to give than me, but you are only valuable when you are dead. I give while I am still alive.”

Of course this is not a direct quote, as I can’t exactly remember the story word-for-word but hopefully you can get the idea. The moral of the story is that we all have things to give. Whether we choose to give of ourselves while we are alive and able to benefit others in our lifetime is up to us.

I encourage you to really think about this tale. Tell it to others. Remind your fellow man to be a cow, not a pig. Just be sure you tell them the story first or else you might wind up in the farmhouse.

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Shanna Fanelli

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