The Ballad of Icarus Licorice


There was a small piglet named Icarus

With surname and color both licorice;
He flew from his mother
To live with his brother
On Beekman Farm, Icarus Licorice.

Did he start out like his mother
(Who’s redheaded, just like his brother?)
Or did he, in transit,
Determine to chance it,
And take flight inspired by the other
Icarus, winging the higher
Reaches of heaven, catch fire,
Melting his wings,
Scorching everything,
Then fall to the earth, to expire?

The moral of this could be true –
“It’s dangerous to try something new;
That when you aspire
To rank that is higher,
You’ll star in your own Bar-B-Q.”

A lesson for life no denying.
Just stay where you are and no trying.
When you reach past your station
In one generation,
You’re likely to end up French frying.

Don’t push it, don’t try it, beginner.
You’ll never end up as a winner.
Your class is your fate,
Your status your state,
Just shut up or end up as dinner.

But there are two sides to our story;
This myth is not just allegory.
Our pig on the verge
Of a powerful urge,
Soared past bacon and sausage to Glory!

To our Icarus, flight is no biggie.,
He’s safe in his silo-ma-jiggy,
Growing fat everyday,
They eat, sleep and play –
Hog Heavenly life for a piggy.

Some day he’ll tell us his story,
That journey to star territory.
His ascent, burn and dive,
And how he survived
Will make for a grand oratory.

Come visit our happy pig Icarus,
Whose skin is the color of licorice.
His world is the best,
(He survived all the rest)
His fabulous sty is uBeekuitous.

So how did we name him, you query?
It was simply a task ordinary.
For flight, we said “Icarus,”
For hue, Brent said “Licorice,”
Together, the best salutary.

Flying pigs live to inspire us.
Impossible dreams will transpire us.
His style is divine,
Our Die Flederschwein,
Icarus Licorice, Esquirus.

Big Red and Icarus Licorice
Are growing both vigorous and rigorous.
So how will it end?
With laughter, my friend.
To think otherwise is ridiculous.

by Karen Cooksen

(who lives just down the road from Beekman Farm)

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip Haughay

Of all of the denizens of my little ranch in California, a special place in my heart is reserved for my two pot-bellied pigs, Chicha and Ron. Their names are actually a rather sick joke. Chicharrónes are the deep fried pork rinds favored in Mexican and other Latin American cuisine. I love these two pigs dearly though, and the dinner plate is not their destiny.

Pigs are extremely intelligent animals. My two are at least as intelligent as dogs, and in some instances far more resourceful. They know their names, come when they are called. They are incredible problem solvers when it comes to figuring out how to open gates, doors, stalls, etc when on their endless quest for food. I once put a food bin on TOP of a stack of rectangular cubes of pine shavings, used to freshen the horse stalls. These pigs figured out that if they tore open the bottom bale, and dug out its contents, that the entire stack would fall, and they could get the food that was some 6 feet above their heads!

Ronnie-pig is a frequent early morning visitor in my kitchen. He knows that the dogs get fed in the house. Most mornings he will climb the stairs of the back porch and work on the back door. I am often not particularly good at latching the door all the way. He knows exactly which side he needs to push his weight to get the kitchen door to swing inwards. He knows exactly where the bag of dog food is kept. On more than one instance I have been awakened at 6:30 a.m. on a weekend by a hungry Ronnie coming in for some self-serve.

Personality-wise, these pigs are a bit cat-like. They enjoy hanging out with humans and other animals, their tales wagging happily. However to touch them or hold them is always on their terms. They must want it, or else it isn't happening. Unlike dogs, that crave contact, pigs are a bit more aloof. Chicha does get annoyingly affectionate every month or so when she goes into heat. She is annoyingly desperate for contact, and will nip the back of my leg if I don't scratch her or rub her.

Of all of the personalities on my farm, little Chicha and Ron are the biggest characters.

Marcia L Clarke

Aren't pigs wonderful? Just be careful when hand feeding them fruits (as my sister does on her farm in Walworth, NY) not to stick your pinky finger in their mouths by accident, especially new, young pigs. Their teeth are S-H-A-R-P!!!! And, I bet their bite force is comparable to that of an alligator. Poor pinky! It's better now, but it sure was sore for a while!


I was fortunate enough to meet the Cooksen's when we toured their farm during Harvest Fest this past fall — such wonderful people and a really lovely poem! I actually use a picture of their farm as my background at work, to remind me what I am (hopefully) working towards one day!

George & Theresa

Since you inspired:

“The one-l lama

He’s a beast

The two-Ll llama

He’s a priest

But I would bet a

Silk pajama

There isn’t any

3-L lllama.”—Ogden Nash

Lama Lamapolkaspot

Is my favorite


In his fancy birthday suit

He doesn’t need a silk pajama.

With his boys Josh & Brent

He’s the most distinguished glama

North of Island Bah-ha-hama.

teri tighe

So is Licarus your new pig and Big Red’s new companion? I don’t think the new addition was mentioned or I missed it, somehow.

She’s a great artist, both paintings are wonderful.

Dr. Brent

The painting of Big Red and Licarus was done by the same artist that does the painting of the goats that is for sale in the online shop "Sweet Silence". She's wonderfully talented