Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Catch a Pig

For the past few days, we've been farmsitting for our Silver Forge friends. It's definitely been an adventure. Chris and I have been enjoying our time there and have bonded over the various chores and tasks. It's almost like a mini vacation of our own except for the fact that we spend a lot of time at this house already when we visit Shannon and Eliezer. The dynamic is definitely different though. No kids and minus one dog. Since, as I mentioned before, we do spend a lot of time there, I'm comfortable and familiar with the place which is nice. I joked with Chris that this is almost like camp! I had a customer at the bookstore where I work who was looking for things to send to her son. He was at a sleep away summer program where he was helping out at a farm. I've looked at various summer activities and they're hundreds of dollars so Shannon and Eliezer really missed the boat on that one ;-).

We have a detailed list as to who gets what when it comes to feeding the animals. Most of it isn't very complicated. The sheep get hay and the chickens get feed. They're simple minded creatures that don't ask many questions.

Then we have Lola the pig. If anyone was going to give us any issues, we knew it was going to be her. She's a smart cookie and speaking of cookies, she's a hungry girl! The minute we're outside to take care of the list of tasks, she begins oinking impatiently.

Chris makes sure to give her plenty of water in her bowl plus an additional surplus so that she has some mud to keep cool. He has a soft spot for pigs and even adjusts the hose so that it gently sprays her with a cool mist. She seems to enjoy this.

Lola's meal is always the most interesting. The first night we were there, we didn't have any scraps so she got dog food. I made it a point to save up our leftover food plus I raided our fridge back at home for anything that looked like it wouldn't get used before it expired. She has a feast fit for a queen the following night.

Last night was similar. She had everything from a stale english muffin to some stuff that had been laying around in my fridge that I knew we were never going to eat. After we fed and watered her, we finished up with the rest of our chores and went into the house. As the sun was setting, I remembered that I was supposed to check the mail so I went back outside. The sky was a vibrant pink, the crickets were chirping, the fireflies were slowly blinking. I noticed the chickens were retiring for the night up in their little houses. I didn't see Lola in her pen so I assumed she was also winding down in her little hut. I retrieved the mail and made my way back to the house. I walked past a the huge line of bushes and I heard a rustling sound. I figured it was one of the cats or a stray chicken or quite possibly something else I wouldn't want to deal with like a raccoon. All of those theories were dispelled when the bush started oinking at me.

I remember back in the 90's when Jerry Springer's show was a big cultural event. The angry couple would be sitting on stage bickering over the husband's affair with his wife's "best friend". They would bring the other woman out and, right on que, the wife would attack her and the two women would start scrapping. I don't watch much T.V. anymore but I continue to hear of people complaining that all of these "reality" shows seem so scripted. That's what I felt like when I realized that Lola had escaped from her pin. It was timed so perfectly that it almost seemed like a joke. If I'd checked the mail any other time of day, we would have never known she was out. This pig even has a record. She's escaped and wandered off in the night before and the cops have come to the house to let Shannon and Eliezer know to go and get her. I suppose that also would have made for a good story had it gone down that way again last night.

I'd just made a wild blueberry tart from Trader Joe's so I cut a piece and threw it into a bowl along with some bananas. It looked awfully good to me and I hoped that Lola would find it equally enticing.

Luckily for us, she was all about that pie! We easily lured her back to her pen. Getting her to go back inside took a bit longer but eventually she decided that dessert was too good to resist. Chris realized her electric barrier wasn't working so we had to call Eliezer. He told us where we could find a replacement battery so we hooked it up and hoped for an uneventful night.

The roofers knocked on the door at 7:30 this morning. We'd been expecting them to come some time this week. I was just thankful that it wasn't the cops. When we left for work this morning, Lola was still in her pen. I don't know what we'll end up feeding her tonight but I suppose we'd better make it good! I do have some leftover tart that was supposed to be for me last night but while I was pig wrangling, a certain St. Bernard decided to help herself. Needless to say, it went quickly. Lola will enjoy what Ripley left behind today.

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