Thursday, June 26, 2008
Help! I've created a monster....
...or twelve. Now that I have started letting the piggies into the big pasture for part of the day, they have learned to anticipate my actions. Before I even reach the gate from the pigyard to the pasture, they have raced to it, like a herd of screaming elephants, wanting to be let out.
This, in itself, might not seem like much of a problem were it not for two things. Firstly, they do scream. Loudly. Some more than others, but all of them joining in. Think of a whole schoolyard of unruly kids receiving their very, most-hoped-for gift on Christmas morning. I'm sure the Noise-Bylaw-Control-People must receive complaints from all over the city.
Secondly, the gate opens into the pen. This is, of course, a security precaution since piggies can be pretty hard pushers and who wants to come home to find their piggy prisoners busted out of jail? But when a two-legged critter needs to open the gate to let out twelve screaming, shoving, muddy, squeally, happy, foaming-at-the-mouth (which they do when they are excited and hungry) four-legged critters who are inconveniently blocking the direction in which the gate needs to open.....well, that creates a challenge.
Add to that three dogs barking at the other pasture gate because they think THEY should get to join in the fun, and one on-edge alpaca staring from beyond the temporary gate over the creek because he knows full well those pigs are about to charge into HIS pasture and just might eat some little tidbit that he was saving for a Very Special Occasion, and there's a recipe for chaos.
But the chaos that occurs when I AM letting the piggies into the pasture is nothing compared to what happens when the piggies see me working outside when I have no intention of letting them into the pasture. Seems like every time I venture into the pasture to scoop alpaca poop or run the dogs or fill Martin's water bucket, twelve piggies assume I'm there to open their gate for them. Remember that screaming I mentioned? Yesterday, it was so loud that one of my neighbours from three rural-sized yards away came running over thinking something was terribly wrong.
Nice to know I have neighbours who care. Not so nice to know certain piggies are disturbing our pastoral ambiance.
I wonder if one can train a pig to respond to "Quiet!" ????