Posted 02-18-2004 at 16:26:22
[Reply] [No Email]
I went out to check on one of the sows who had her babies today. I was standing around really doing nothing but watching her. There was a million things I could have been doing in the house, and I was fartin' off. I was fussing at myself for wasting time, and had decided to go into the house and find something to do, when I heard faint squealing.
Sometimes I think we do things for a reason even if we don't know what the reason is. Maybe it's fate, or devine inspiration, or something guiding us, but something, call it the 'little voice in my head', held me out there until I did what needed to be done. I just didn't know what it was yet.
My hunt for the sound took me through the pasture gate and towards the grove, where by now, I was certain the squealing was coming from. I was a little nervous. None of the domestic sows were missing, so I was thinking I was going to walk up on a wild sow out there in the grove having her babies. It's not unheard of, they hang close by where they know there are other pigs. They feel more protected.
I realized that I didn't have anything to protect MYself with, so I began to walk sideways. That way you walk when you think you might have to take off like a bat out of he11 with very little notice. Peeking through tree branches, getting more nervous by the second, I crept my way toward the sound.
I almost gave up and went back to the house. Almost decided that it was a wild sow out there, but I didn't. I'm glad I didn't. What I found was a little boar with perfect black and white Hamp markings. Obviously Bear's boy. He looked just like him, and for a new piglet, he was huge.
"Well, what are you doing out here?"
I picked him up and noticed immediatley that where he was white, was pretty pink from sunburn so it was clear he had been out there a while. I carried him back to the nursery pasture and guided him through a hole in the goat wire. By then the four mothers who were up and about had responded to his squealing and each one came up and sniffed him, and then each one turned around and left him. None of them claimed him.
It suddenly dawned on me that he must have come from the sow who was still giving birth. But that seemed so impossible. To give you some idea, to get to where he was from where she was, (way on the other side of the pasture) he would have had to travel the equivalent of the length of a super Walmart. End to end. Twice. Taking three inch steps the whole way. We're talking an hour at least. I got to looking at him closer, and found that by comparison he was a lot cleaner than the other babies and his cord was short, but still damp looking.
"Dang, boy, you went a long way!"
"Weeeeee!" (sure did)
I carried him all the way across the pasture and put him with his mother and the first thing he did was take off for the grove again, but this time mamma called him back. He stopped mid-stride and decided he was hungry I guess, as he turned right around and dove into the feed line.
I don't know where he'll be tomorrow but if he had spent the night out in the grove by himself he wouldn't have made it. Being brand new, and with no one to keep him warm, and after missing a whole night of feedings he would have been dead.
They say you should always listen to your little voice, even if you're not sure what it's telling you. Even if it's telling you that the dishes can wait, and the laundry can be folded later because dang it, it's just a lot more pleasurable to stand there in the sun and watch baby pigs come into the world. No matter how long it takes.
I decided to listen to that little voice and before long it wasn't in my head anymore but it was outside, and it was scared and cold and hungry. Today, my little voice came in the form of a squeal from way back yonder in the grove, and I'm glad I listened to it.