We have stumbled into a world of which I was barely aware. Sure, I knew a bit about falabella horses, and chihuahuas and other tiny dogs. But over at The Other Place, Luigi's nine-word entry on mini-pigs has attracted more interest than anything else we have ever posted here before, at least in terms of the sheer number and persistence of the comments.

But there's a whole farmyard of miniature breeds out there. Cows (and full grown bulls) that stand no higher than a man's hip. Tiny Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, to say nothing of the Australian Miniature Goat Association Inc. There are sheep that go through life struggling under the weight of being known as Olde English Babydoll Miniature Southdowns.

All of which -- and there is lots, lots more -- is testament both to the diversity within each livestock species and the overweaning desire of people to shape animals to meet their human needs. But really, what is the point?

When I was Googling away and whooping with amazement, The Squeeze asked that very question. And, to answer herself, “I suppose if you had a very small farm ...” and her voice trailed off.

Back to the pocket pigs, obviously they are cute as can be, and lots of people want one. But what are they for? Fun, I suppose. Or very small hams. The people who are clamouring to own one probably don't want to know this, but there’s a specific breed of minipig that has a registered tradename -- Ellegaard Gottingen Minipigs --and that was developed for the pharmaceutical testing industry; Dr Evil would definitely approve. As for the others, I confess to being slightly at a loss.

I’m reminded of a scene from an old Hollywood movie, possibly The Front Page, in which the grizzled baggy-pants old reporter quizzes the young cub, thusly:

GB-POR: Go downtown and get the details on that sex maniac.
YC: looks very puzzled
GB-POR: You know what a sex maniac is, don’t you boy?
YC: looks somewhat sheepish Er, no sir.
GB-POR: A sex maniac is someone who sells newspapers

A pocket pig is something that attracts blog comments.

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