Just now, as Bob entered, Earl Butz was at the trough, but he noted Bob's arrival, acknowledging the young man with a flick of his ears and a switch of his little tail. Earl Butz was a good worker, who applied himself to his assigned task with both will and enjoyment. Already today he had cleaned the back end of his trough, and now he was working industriously toward the front, offering the low-pitched hog noises that expressed his suitability to his lot in life. Earl Butz had been eating for eighteen months, which was just exactly how old he was. He was white, white as cream cheese or sugar, and fastidious. Bob had noticed that every day, during his breaks from eating, he liked to nose and kick clean straw into a nice nest near the trough and far from the toileting area. Earl Butz also liked a bath, and had no objection to the lifting and cleaning of his trotters. He was an agreeable hog, and Bob liked him.