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The Sow Couldn't Swim


Mr. Ardell Slattum was named Ransom County Man of the Year in 1987. He had a way with animals and had trained dogs and several trick ponies over the years. One summer, however, he learned he didn’t know a whole lot about pigs.

“We had a big sow,” he wrote, “...and she took to following the pony. It was a hot day. I thought I would play a trick on her. I rode into the river where it was deep. I looked back; she had entered the river, following the bottom, disappeared like a submarine. I hurried back to shore and watched. I thought all pigs could swim, but she sure as heck couldn’t. It seemed such a long time, but finally she had gotten turned around, came walking out and was no worse for the wear.”

Source: Slattum, Ardell. “Memories of Ardell Slattum.” Fort Ransom Community History: 1878-2003. Gwinner (ND): J&M Companies, 2003.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm