Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Cacophony of Piggy Voices

Or: Why it Takes Three Hours to Clean One Piggy Stall

I like the word “cacophony”. With its combination of hard and soft consonants and the emphasis on the second syllable, it is one of those rare words that mimics the phenomena it represents – “a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds” (

And those are the sounds that kept me entertained as I performed the weekend ritual of mucking out the piggy’s winter potty stall right down to the bare stall mat. The task is one of my least favourite; during the week, I do a superficial raking and scooping and add a few more shavings each day, and at the weekend I shovel and bag the whole remaining mess and haul it away. It stings the eyes and nose, it permeates the clothes, and most of all it hurts the back.

But the task was made far less onerous today due to the chorus of piggy voices that serenaded me as I went about my work.

What amazes me about piggy sounds is the range of tones and vocalizations. Some days, like today, I swear that barn holds a cow, a mouse, several chickens, a dog, a horse and a donkey all camouflaged in piggy’s skins.

And so, instead of getting on with that burdensome task of stripping the stall, I grabbed the camera and recorded the sounds.

A cacophony of piggy voices – music to my ears.

Turn on the speakers and enjoy.


Black Jack's Carol said...

Cacophony indeed! Amazing to hear the variety of pitches and tones. Thanks for recording that.

I thought I had left a long message for you at your "Command Performance" post, but can't find it. Brain either more addled than I realized, or whatever... but hope this one appears, because I really love reading your updates and views on life! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

OK -you've been holding out on us. You really live on a farm with many different animals. I know I heard a cow, a dog(well that isn't surprising) and chickens. I'm just not sure where you hide them when we visit.

Big Sis and O'Bear

Jean said...

Carol, it is always possible that MY brain is addled and I accidently clicked on "reject comment" instead of "publish comment", but I don't remember seeing one from you for that particular entry.
I wonder if your music classes could replicate the piggy tones with their instruments? I'm sure I heard a cello and an oboe in there somewhere!

Jean said...

Big Sis, I put them all up in the attic when you visit - haven't you ever wondered why I never let anyone go up there except the cat?????

Anonymous said...

Those are some of the funniest sounds I have heard in a long time.
And yes there is no way that Mooing came from a pig. When did you get the cow.??


Anonymous said...

That was the BEST!! MP came to see what it was, and seemed to agree with whatever they were discussing. Ahahahaha!


dp said...

Too funny! They really do sound like a whole barnyard of creatures.

I also love the world "cacophony" for the same reasons. Don;t know what kind of music you like, but that very word is featured in Hawksley Workman's song "Your Beauty must be Rubbing Off".