We awoke to this on Monday. Ahhh. So quiet. So beautiful and so very different for these pacific northwest woods. We were very exhilarated and renewed. Emotionally changed, like the landscape out our window. I had visions of hungry cattle being so thankful when I fed them on the snow covered hills and of sledding down our steep prairies and then finishing off the day around the fire with an cafe americano with steamed milk. Ahhhh! Yes, this would be quite the day after we finished the one small task that I had committed to the previous evening. And actually, I was, at the time quite excited about this task as well. The task of collecting my baby, my sweet little pet pig Pink.
Well, she was a baby and she was sweet originally when I found her on June 16, 2007. I was gathering up the cattle to sort out the calves to take to auction and I spied a little movement in the weeds. Looking closer I saw an itty bitty tottering pig. It could barely walk and all of its little ribs showed through it's thinly stretched hide. Ok, I'll admit it. I was afraid. I have heard tales of pig mamas eating people like me who try to steal their babies. So, I paused in my instinctual habit of picking up or petting almost every animal that crosses my path. I paused and looked furtively around to see if I could hear or see a big fat sow waiting till her little precious lured an unsuspecting pet lover in to be eatin and mauled! Then Mark drove up, got out of his truck, picked the little piglet up, walked back to the truck and deposited it in the backseat. "There,that is done" he said, "now let's finish sorting these cattle". So we did. Later we went home and taught the 1 lb and 8 in. long oinker how to drink milk out of a dish and I got out my now grown children's receiving blankets and rocked my new little baby to sleep and then tucked her into bed in our kitchen.
We named her Pink because the very tip of her snout was pink. The name reminded my hubby of those sweat pants that are emblazoned across the butt with the word PINK. So her nose became my babie's trademark name. She was precious. She quickly adapted to life in the house and learned how to use a litter box and sleep through the night. It reminded me of a speeded up version of raising our own brood. Speeded up being the operative word. Quickly this pig grew, and grew and her poo, while she was quite tidy in depositing it in the correct receptacle, still stunk badly. I still remember the time I walked into our house and gagged. Gagged and realized that the pig would have to go outside. So then she was a porch pig and then later (after she ruined my flower and vegetable garden) a pig relegated to outside our yard's fence. Here is a picture of her shortly after she became a porch pig.
Isn't she cute? I still considered her my little darling this snowy morning (although others may call her the devil) and I was excited that we had finally tracked her down and were going to retrieve her. We had recieved a call the previous evening that she was across the creek, cozy in a neighbor's shed. We had recieved other calls since returning home from our jaunt south. Calls of a wild, black pig that boldly came onto people's porches and kept folks holed up inside until they realized she wasn't so wild! But everytime we called the people back they would go outside and discover the pig was gone, like a bandit in the night. Finally, due to all the snow, no doubt, and the tortilla's the nice lady fed her, our pig stayed put. So, we put on our snowy weather gear, scraped the snow and ice off the truck, unfroze the trailer's hitch, drove down, down the snow covered road and under a tree we had cut through the previous evening and then across the bridge and up the other side. Here is a picture of going under the tree.
After about an hour of driving, although as the crow flies it is only a few miles, we arrive at Pink's location. "Pink, Pinki, my baby!" I cry as I dash up the woman's driveway, fully expecting my darlin to grunt melodically and run into my outstretched arms. But she didn't. She pretty much ignored me. I shook the can of food I had brought and then she ambled over stiffly. Very stiffly and slowly, apparently, all this wanderlust had caused her little feet to get quite tender. I scratched her in all her favorite spots and then began walking and coaxing her toward the trailer. Slowly and circuitusly, because my pet was just not cooperating. At all! My voice got more whiney and more plaintive by the moment and the nice lady and my husband looked away at my groveling to get my baby to do as I say. The darn pig even nipped at me. All of a sudden she was no longer such a darlin, but a rebellious teen in need of some, some, ...well I better not say what she was in need of. At this time, my hubby stepped in again, like the original day I found her, and put a rope around her neck and hauled her big butt into the trailer. With her squealin and belly achin all the way. I should have gotten a picture, but we were too busy discussing the turn of events. We thanked the nice lady and drove away and then the real discussion began.
To eat, or not to eat? That was the question of the day ( appologies to the bard) For now though, Pink is residing in our barn eating corn and we think, well, I hope, she will stay due to the snow. I keep remembering though, a friend's offhand comment late last summer when Pink first began some of her less than desirous behavior, "I bet even Adolph Hitler's mother loved him".