Animals – why…

Another blog moved over from my facebook page from April 2010.  

well, this morning Cinder was still waddling about with an obviously full load of kittens inside. No excitement during the night so I’m glad I didn’t go crawling around the garage at midnight trying to see if there were babies… but tonight I haven’t seen her at all. Mind you, there is a freaking blizzard out there and if she has any sense (and I’m not sure she does) she’ll be cozied up somewhere kittens or not. I think about how harsh life is on a farm and how many animal babies we’ve had in our house warming them up from the winter.. there was one goat kid that we warmed in the oven to keep it’s body temperature up. I put a towel in our largest roasting pan and stuck the kid in the pan and into the oven with the door open. It didn’t help that Don kept strolling by making useful comments like “Best get used to it kid!” or “Throw some garlic and onions in!”. How crude. How could you even consider that when you look into the babies big dark eyes?


Andy reminded me that I was not without an insensitive streak – he says that one time at a petting zoo I kept picking up a lamb and pointing out the tastiest cuts… and that I apparently tried to smuggle it out and take it home for dinner. I have no recollection of this – I’m sure he must be mistaken. He was with me the night we brought Squiggy home..the piglet that was supposed to be a pot bellied pig, yet grew to be absolutely huge. We picked him up at a local farm and put him in a cardboard box, the kind that fruit comes in from BC. I was putting him into the backseat when the farmer we got him from said “lady, I don’t recommend that -the box isn’t water proof and pig smell is real hard to get out of the upohlstery.” Andy and I considered for a moment. It seemed cruel to put this wee animal in the trunk, but I didn’t relish the idea of having manure on my seat. The pig solved the problem by promptly emptying it’s bladder… the resulting aroma was enough to eliminate the back seat as a possibility. So we put the pig in it’s box in the trunk, then Andy got in the back seat and opened the pass through from the back seat to the trunk so we could see the piggy. It was barely a 10 minute drive home, but in that 10 minutes Squiggy managed to break out of his box and start running laps around the trunk. Andy was beside himself – thought this was the funniest thing ever – but apparently Squiggy hadn’t emptied ALL of his insides and promptly a new and familiar pig smell was reeking through the car. We got home in record time and as the car was rolling to a stop we both leaped out. Don ambled over from the garage “what’s happening?” he asked. He didn’t know about the pig. Without saying anything I popped the trunk release and went to the back and fished the hot and panicked pig out of the trunk. “oh.” he said. “it’s a pig”. At this point there might have been a long silence while we all digested the truth of this but frankly the pig was screaming it’s head off.. apparently it wasn’t happy about me holding it up in a strange yard in front of strange people after a strange ride in the trunk. Don reached over and said some thing that might have been “it’s ok little guy” but I never got to double check that. As he reached for the pig, the pig had apparently reached his own limit and he chomped Don right on the hand. Making my exit as quickly as possible and throwing apologies over my shoulder as I went, “I’m sorry he bit you, he’s upset – he’s had a difficult evening” I took Squiggy into the barn to get him settled into his new home. He loved the pile of fresh clean straw and was quite enthusiastic about his food, but he also was intrigued by the grunting coming from the next pen. We had, at this time, another pig named Cyrano – he was a wild boar and a rather nasty one at that. He was almost at slaughter weight so wouldn’t be around for much longer, but Squiggy didn’t know that. Hearing a familiar ‘language’ he was captivated – who knows what sultry lures the wild boar was enticing him with? But I knew immediately that if I wasn’t careful, Squigward would end up wild boar food.


The next day, we took squiggy out for a walk in our yard. Have you ever seen the movie Crazy Farm with Chevy chase and his Irish Setter? The one that shows up from time to time running in the distance? Well that was squiggy. The pig took off and we couldn’t catch him. Andy tried valiantly to catch the wee thing but ended up running himself ragged so Finally we just sat on the porch and watched.. from time to time we’d hear his little squeal and the pig would zip by, north to south… then a few minutes later he’d zip by again, east to west… then south to north.. then west to east. Eventually we lost sight of him completely and I figured our squiggy was gone. Later I went to check one more time in the barn and that’s when I heard some happy little grunts coming from the chicken pen… yep. he had climbed in through the chicken door and was chatting with the chickens. I opened the coop door and he strolled out and right into his pen like nothing had ever happened.


That evening Andy and I went in to feed Squiggy and see how he was doing and before you could say ‘holy cow!’ he zipped out of his pen and squeezed through the boards into the wild boar pen. Panic ensued. Andy started yelling at me to get the pig out but the wild boar was not an animal I wanted to tangle with. We watched in horror as Squiggy went from happy ‘how do you do?’ pig to “oh my god he’s going to eat me!’ pig. They raced around the pen and squiggy, by dint of his diminuative size, managed to keep well out of the boars way. The boar, however, was bound and determined to catch that pig and was slowly corralling Squiggy into the corner. Just as it seemed all was lost, Squiggy made a mad dive for the same hole he got into the pen through and popped out into the entry way. He was so freaked out he just let us pick him up and didn’t squeal even once. We put him back in his pen and I can honestly say he did not go near that boar again.


Well, it’s time for bed. I was just looking out the window into the storm and could see the warm glow of the heat lamps we leave on in the barns for the chickens. it seemed cozy enough..but I am glad I’m warm inside in my home. I hope that where ever animals are – coyotes, skunks, deer, rabbits – that they are tucked in somewhere out of the cold…


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Sandy Kenyon

It has been a chaotic and heartbreaking year. But I'm climbing back out of this chaos, bent on carving a new path using all the things I have learned. Stay tuned for new stories :) I hope you enjoy what you read!

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