By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” -Mathew 7:6

My kids love animals. I, on the other hand, love animals from a distance. When Justin was 7 years old, he asked my dad for a pony. One day I received a call from my Mom, “Bring the kids over, your Dad wants to tell them something.”

Justin was all excited. Ellianna was just a year old. When I pulled into the driveway, my parents were waiting for us outside. Justin went running out as soon as I unbuckled him. “Hurry up mommy.” I saw my dad take Justin by the hand, and they started walking down to “The Barn.” I was thinking baby chicks or bunnies. While I was unbuckling Ellianna from her car seat, "Ellianna, Nonno has baby chicks or bunnies. You want to see those baby animals?"

When I got there, my mouth dropped. I saw a cow, a few sheep, a few goats, baby chicks, ducks, bunnies, a dozen or so chickens, a rooster, and a baby pig! My dad was all proud. “Justin, Ellianna, for you. Surprise!”

I said, “Oh my God, we have our own petting zoo!”

Today, I want to share about Wilbur, our pig. Yes, people, we had a pig. Our animals were not like other animals, you understand. After all, we all know how neurotic I am about cleanness. Wilbur had a clean pen. He was fenced in and with no mud. And, before going into his little house, he was hosed down. The cleanest pig there was. Kids loved their animals. Ellianna grew up with them. No wonder she wants to be a veterinarian. I blame my dad for this and his love for animals, too.

Wilbur was a strong-willed pig. He didn’t like cleanness. Every chance he got, he rolled in the mud. Yuck! Gross! My kids, “Wilbert, behave. Mommy will get upset. You want to live here right? Don’t do that. Stay clean!” I can’t help but laugh as I write this. Little kids are amusing. Then they get older and become annoying. Do I get an amen out there?