Short Story


It’s been a year since the eldest of the Johnson brothers died. Everyone was gathering together for a Memorial Service to remember Robert. Levi, the youngest, was the host. He had prepared the biggest supper ever. He cooked pork, fresh beans, casserole, cornbread and all the fixings.

They both lived together on a big ranch. They raised cattle and horses. They had one pig that Robert kept as a pet but Levi despised the thing. Both fell in love with this beautiful Latina woman named Gabriela, but Levi was too shy to say anything. Normally when this type of thing happens, folks have a duel and settle it like men but the brothers were raised never to harm family.

One day the Levi spotted someone trying to sneak out of the barn. So he runs into the house and tells Robert that there’s a stranger trying to sneak out of the barn. Robert jumps up, grabs his gun belt and gloves and runs out to the barn.

He sneaks up to the guy, pulls his gun and tells the stranger to turn around. When the guy turns around Robert slaps the guy across the face with a glove and challenges the guy to a duel. Robert and the guy decided the younger brother should present the pistols for the duel. So now Robert and the guy goes back to their house to prepare.

Next day comes around, Robert, Levi and the stranger meets up. Levi gives them both a loaded pistol, explains the terms, tells them to turn back to back, walk 20 paces turn and fire. So, they do.

Unbeknown to the older brother his gun had blanks in it but him and the guy both fall to the ground dead.

When everyone was finished eating, they asked Levi to tell about what happened, how his brother died. He told the story about Gabriela, that he was now married to. He explained that his brother and the stranger had a dual. How the sow that became pregnant but they couldn’t figure out how because they didn’t have a hog to mate her with. And when they caught the guy sneaking from the barn Robert put the pieces together. The stranger was holding a feed sack when Robert caught him and would always find the trough full of food every morning. Come to find out, the guy was courting the pig.

Afterwards, Levi asked everyone how the food at the Memorial tasted. Everyone was in agreement that it was the tenderest pork and the fixings were the best they ever tasted! Then someone asked Levi what ever happened to the pregnant pig or the piglets. Levi replied, “The pig is in the freezer and it seems like everyone just enjoyed the piglets.”

Strangely enough, no one ever found out it was him that shot the stranger from the barn. Since it was against what his parents taught him, he couldn’t harm his brother but could kill two birds with one stone. He could marry Gabriela, get rid of the pet pig and have fresh meat for a few years.

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