one of the first things you learn on a farm is hog-calling. pigs are temperamental. omit to call them, and they'll starve rather than put on the nose-bag. call them right, and they will follow you to the ends of the earth with their mouths watering.
these calls vary in different parts of america. in wisconsin, for example, the words, "poig, poig, poig" bring home--in both the literal and the figurative sense--the bacon. in illinois, i believe they call "burp, burp, burp," while in iowa the phrase "kus, kus, kus" is preferred. proceeding to minnesota, we find "peega, peega, peega" or, alternatel, "oink, oink, oink," whereas in milwaukee, so largely inhabited by those of german descent, you will hear the good old teuton "komm schweine, komm schweine." oh, yes, there are all sorts of pig-calls, from the massachusetts, "phew, phew, phew" to the "loo-ey, loo-ey, loo-ey" of ohio, not counting various local devices such as beating on tin cans with axes or rattling pebbles in a suit-case. i knew a man out in nebraska who used to call his pigs by tapping on the edge of the trough with his wooden leg. but a most unfortunate thing happened. one evening, hearing woodpecker at the top of a tree, they started shinning up it and when the man came out he found them all lying there in a circle with their necks broken.
most people don't know it, but i had it straight from the lips of fred patzel, the hog-calling champion of the western states that there is a master-word to call pigs. what a man! i've known him to bring pork chops leaping from their plates. he informed me that, no matter whether an animal has been trained to answer to the illinois "burp" or the minnesota "oink," it will always give immediate service in response to this magic combination of syllables. it is to the pig world what the masonic grip is to the human. "oink" in illinois or "burp" in minnesota, and the animal merely raises it eyebrows and stares coldly. but go to either state and call "pig-hoo-oo-ey!"......Posted by hill at September 11, 2003 09:51 AM