Posted 06-18-2004 at 06:15:54
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Bear broke out yesterday. I knew he was going to. He hasn’t done it in three months or so, so he was due. I have been amazed at the fact that even though there are two other boars running with the sows, and even though Bear and Hercules are aware of this fact and can hear the sounds of uninhibited pig amour, they haven’t tried to escape. Until yesterday.
But once Bear was out, he seemed to lack any meaningful direction. He was distracted by belly-high green grass and a small pond of water that he found, so he spent his ‘free’ time gorging himself, and rolling in the water, getting wet and muddy all over. He did look over at the sow pasture a few times, but the grass and the water seemed to be what he needed most at the moment. That didn’t make me take the news any better when Jake hollered at me just before feeding time.
“S*%!!” Under my breath. “Where’s he at?!” I had to see it with my own eyes, even though Jake is more than capable of making such a discernment without verification from me.
“He’s in the north pasture!”
Then I saw him. He had done an admirable job of muddying himself from snout to tail.
“Go get your dad.” I told Jake.
By this time I was standing at the gate to the north pasture staring Bear right in the eye. Outside the confines of his pen he looked massive and threatening. His skin glistened in the evening light, and he paced back and forth, the muscles rippling in his haunches and shoulders. Two twin tusks peeled out from under each side of his top lip, and he let out a little grunt with each step.
“You’re not puttin’ ME through he11 this time buddy.” I hissed, making up my mind that Fred was going to deal with this event. He responded by shaking himself like a dog and splattering me with mud. “(**@er!” I yelled, wiping my face with my sleeve. I had a serious case of potty mouth going, and was cussing unabashedly when Fred walked up. Before he could ask what I was cussing about, Bear shook himself again, splattering Fred.
“You sorry sunuvawitch!” He spat out a mouthful of mud.
I grinned at him, with a mud-speckled face.
“I’m not going in there.” I said.
“Fine, just go get me the roll of wire and the hammer, and bring the feed. We’ll…I mean I’LL…bait him back into his pen.”
“Fine…but I’m not going in there as long as he’s loose.” I repeated. He pinned me with a stare.
“Just git the stuff will ya?”
Sometimes he believes me when I tell him something, and sometimes he thinks he can coerce me into changing my mind. I wanted to make sure that this was one of the times he believed me. He let himself into the pasture with Bear and immediately went to talking to him. Sucking up.
“Hey, buddy…how’d you get out?” He walked away towards Bear’s pen, Bear following on his heels. I was still standing there, wondering how I was going to get the needed items to Fred without going in there with him and Bear, as Bear’s pen is a good hundred yards from the gate. I was also marveling at the fact that from behind, Bear looked like he was stuffed into a pair of black pantyhose with two coconuts shoved into the back.. I said as much to Jake and he blushed.
“It’s just an observation.”
“More like two cantaloupes, if you ask me.” He said grinning.
I grinned back at him and went to fetch the supplies. When I got back to the gate I could see Fred but could not see Bear.
“Come on!” He shouted, as I tarried at the gate.
“Where’s Bear at?” I shouted back. Hercules was in the pen next to Fred raising nine kinds of he11 so I could hear Fred, but he couldn’t hear me.
“Is it SAFE?!”
“No! The hammer!”
“I SAID…IS…IT…SAAAAAFE?!” I screamed.
“What?! Hercules…shut the he11 up!” He shook his head.” I can’t hear a dang thing yer sayin’!”
I swallowed around a lump in my throat and stepped through the gate. The thing is, if I had stepped through that gate empty handed, Bear may very well have not paid the slightest bit of attention to me. But being that I was carrying the feed bucket, I might as well have had a target painted on my back. Those pigs know a feed bucket when they see one. I tiptoed across the pasture, looking behind every clump of weeds as I went.
“Last I checked, there were no mines in the pasture!” Fred yelled sarcastically. I sent him a single finger wave with my free hand, and he laughed.
“Where’s Bear at?” I yelled again.
“He’s in his PEN!”
“Oh!” I yelled back. “Well, that’s makes a difference!” I picked up speed.
We fed first to shut the pigs up and then spent the next fifteen minutes repairing the hole in Bear’s pen.
“I can’t tell you how glad I am, that you were here this time.” I remarked as we headed back across the pasture. “I usually don’t have any help when this happens.”
“Well?” He asked. “Did I do a good job? Was I a good ‘help’?”
“Oh yeah!” I assured him. “So good in fact, that I may just promote you, and delegate this responsibility to you from now on.”
“Does the new position come with a raise?” He asked.
“Yeah.” I snorted. “I’ll raise you all right.” I said laughing.
“Well, to tell you the truth, that’s exactly what I had in mind.” He waggled his eyebrows at me.
“Shutup!” I swung the empty feed bucket at him and he dodged.
I was serious. I have delegated this responsibility to him from now on. And he did get his raise. (grin)