Arapahoe County 4H programs continue to thrive amid pandemic

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BENNETT, Colo. (KDVR) — You’ve likely heard the story of “The Three Little Pigs,” but this is the story of the two little pigs, also known as “the sisters,” Wilbur and Brutus.

When Wilbur and Brutus were just babies, 9-year-old Payden Lapthorne started her visits to a nearby pen in the small town of Bennett. Now, each pig weighs 250 pounds, and Payden hasn’t missed a day with the beauties.     

“Whenever we are anywhere else other than with her pigs, she’s always asking if she can go here with them,” said Payden’s mother, Mollie Lapthorne.    

While it may look like a play pen, Payden will tell you there’s hard work to do.

“We have to do morning routine, spray-down routine, bedtime routine and stuff,” Payden said.   

All this preparation comes before Thursday’s showdown when Payden shows the girls, for their first time and hers, at the Arapahoe County Fair’s 4H competition.   

While the pigs seem to enjoy Payden’s teachings, the learning doesn’t stop there.   

“Hey Wilbur, I’m going to read you a story,” Payden says while curling next to her pig with her school book. 

When school was canceled, the pig pen replaced her classroom. Payden has worked hard to overcome obstacles in learning. She was born premature — three months early at just 2 pounds.   

“I was born early, I have tiny feet,” Payden said.   

But that’s never stopped her from filling large shoes. 

“She’s never said, ‘I can’t do it.’ She’s always said, ‘Show me how to do it!’ She’s never stopped trying,” Mollie Lapthorne said. 

One thing is certain: her unlikely friendship has surfaced a confidence that, trophy or not, is best in show. 

You can watch Payden show her pigs at the Arapahoe County Fair.  They will be showing the 4H competitions virtually.  Visit this website to watch

There is also an option on their website to do what they call “add-ons.” It’s 4H’s way of saying “good job” for raising your animals. You can click here and scroll down to Padyen’s name.

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