Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pouty Pigs, Soggy Dogs, and a little patch of green

Scotch, the papa piggy, is mad at me. I think he believes it is my fault that their pig yard was first full of mud, then full of snow, and now full of mud, snow and… "WET STUFF! ACK! It’s WET STUFF, Foster Mama!!!! I’z not movin’ from this very back corner of the sleeping stall."

Oh, Scotch. You really need to move about,” says I. “I haven’t seen you move from that spot in days. I haven’t seen you drink any water. I haven’t seen you go potty. You simply cannot stay buried in the straw and blankets in that little corner of the stall.”

And so I place his food tray at the very far end of the sleeping stall…near the door where the WET was dripping and WHITESTUFF was piled and the WATER DISH was waiting.

Foster Mama, please bring my tray to me here.”

No, Scotch. I want you to at least walk the length of the stall for me. Soda and all the pigsters aren’t afraid to run into the other stall to go potty, or to inhale buckets of nice warm water, or to charge past the white, wet drippy stuff by the open barn door. I need you to be a brave pig and show me that you are doing okay.”

Reluctantly Scotch struggled out of his blankets and took a few paces towards me. Then it was porcine showdown in the ol' corral. He stopped. He looked at me. He looked at his food dish, still three or four feet in front of him. He said “UMF!” He said “ERG! ERG! ERG!” He said “OOF! OOF! OOF!” And he said “Please, Foster Mama, bring it a little closer.”

C’mon, Scotch, you can do it.”

No, I can’t. It’s COLD over there. And it's WET over there. I might get nu-moan-ya.”

Scotch, you won't get pneumonia. I’m leaving your tray here. It has tasty grains, and a bit of corn, and some spinach leaves, and some slices of apple. You come here for it.”

Just then one of the pigsters, Rickey, came scurrying around the corner, abandoning his own feeding area and heading straight for Papa Scotch’s tray.

I’ll eat it, Foster Mama, I’ll eat it!” he squealed. He’s no dummy – it’s a lot easier to eat from a lonely tray than to jostle with Mama and nine siblings in the main feeding area. Rickey tucked right in, first the spinach, then the apple, then the corn....

Hey, hey, hey.....that’s MINE!” said Scotch as he suddenly did the four- minute-mile to the tray. “MINE! MINE! MINE!

Rickey skedaddled back to his own eating area, and Scotch downed his dinner, grumbling loudly at the audacity of youth today. At least I know he can still walk around. I was hopeful that he would have some water and take care of other business while he was up.

But no. He groused the whole time he ate, and continued to curse under his breath ("D*mn kids. Take the food right out of your mouth! No respect for their parents, these younguns today!") as he slowly ambled back to the far corner of the stall. With a lot of huffing and puffing and groaning and complaining, he laboriously pulled his blue wool blanket back over his round little body and went back bed. That pig has pouting down to an fine art.

As for the soggy dogs, they are complaining also. They hated the freezing cold (“Ow, my paws, it’s cooolddddd”). They hated the mountains of snow (“Grumble, grumble, where’s our pasture? How am I supposed to poop comfortably in this tiny patch of ice? What IS this stuff and why can’t I walk in it?”). But they hate the rain most of all:
"I’m not goin’ out there!!! Aaackkkkkkk……let us back in!!!! This sucks! I don’t wanna go out! I’m just gonna pee right here on the carpet. Mommmmmmm turn off the water!!!! "

But there’s hope. I looked out my bedroom window this morning and for the first time in weeks saw a single little patch of green. It wasn’t much – maybe 2 feet by 3 feet. But it was green. Very green. Grassy green. Why that one little spot should shed its snow before anywhere else is beyond me, but it is a sure sign that the snow is disappearing.

Now I just hope the snow stays away. Rob the Plowman is leaving for Thailand on Wednesday – he’s made enough in the last month to retire from work for the rest of the winter. If it snows again, I’m on my own.

And if that happens, I’ll be grousing and complaining along with the pouty pigs and the soggy dogs.

But for now, I'm happy. The snow is disappearing, the faucet in the barn is working once again. I can get to the barn and Martin's pen without slipping, sliding, or struggling through thigh-deep snow. Pouty pigs and soggy dogs notwithstanding, we are all doing just fine in our own little corner of paradise.


Black Jack's Carol said...

Hello Jean,

I loved your last sentence in the BTTG post. Nothing like starting a new term on too little sleep, but I hope the last two days have been good ones. Poor Scotch. I've never even been close to a pig except for once, when I was teaching in N.S. and the VP, who farmed as a sort of hobby, had the end of year staff party at his house. Just as the party was getting underway, the pigs somehow got out, and we all had to help him round them up. I didn't try very hard to catch them, as I knew they weren't pets, but I do remember how slippery and quick they were. I'm glad your pigs have such a beautiful life, even if they do get understandably out of sorts when weather hampers their well-thought-out lifestyle. Here's to rain! (Sorry, soggy dogs, but you'll see. It's all for the best.)

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful when those little patches of green start to appear. Spring is coming. Not sure when but it is coming. Honest.


Patience-please said...

May the snow melt quickly and the skies turn (and stay) a brilliant, sunny blue.
Thank you for taking us along on your chores. I almost expect to look down at my shoes and see mud!

Sheryl said...

Do you have a septic tank? The snow over a septic tank always seems to disappear first.

Jean said...

I do have a septic tank, Sheryl, but ironically it is still covered with snow. This little patch is nowhere near it, but perhaps just created by drainage as it is on a little bit of a hill.