January 19, 2021 — Eight-legged pigs are a rarity, but they have existed. If you’ve ever seen one, it’s probably been in a roadside attraction preserved in formaldehyde.

A 1923 article in The Fargo Forum reported, “An eight-legged pig, which apparently is in better condition than its nine brothers and sisters, was born on the old Maltese Cross ranch of Theodore Roosevelt down in the Little Missouri River bottoms last April, it has just been learned here. Fred Lee, tenant, declared his intention of going into the sideshow business with the animal.”

The article went on to describe, “The animal is systematic about the use of his legs, using one set of four in the morning, the other set in the afternoon. But when it wants to step into ‘sporting range,’ all eight legs are brought into play.”

The title of the article? “Eight-Legged Pig is Fastest One On Ranch.”

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairiepublic.org.

Load comments