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The Wave
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Cindi    Posted 02-11-2004 at 03:33:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
At last count I have twenty-six new little piglets running around the south pasture. I get no end of pleasure from sitting out there in my lawn chair and watching them. Everywhere they go, they go not by two's, or three's, or four's, but in waves of twenty-five. I know. I said there's twenty-six of them out there. I'll explain that in a minute.

It's almost as if they have some kind of telepathy working. Their movements are smooth, almost choreographed. It's kind of like watching a flock of birds, or a school of fish, scooting along on the ground. Red ones, white ones, black ones, spotted ones. One white one with a single black spot about the size of a dime on one little hip. One little red one with black spots that's about half the size, and twice as loud as the others. One tiny little solid white one from the latest litter, that, up 'til yesterday, hadn't learned the rules of piglet traffic.

This one is either dumb as a stump, or is just a 'free thinker'. Either way, when the wave goes left, little Mr. Independent goes right. When they go right, he goes left. When they go, he stays put, and vice-versa. Sometimes, when the wave is running full out across the pasture, he runs into them head on, gets knocked down, and for a wild moment there you think he's going to get up and merge with the traffic and follow the course set by his peers. Nope. He will invariably get up and run the other way.

Most piglets seem to know there's safety in numbers. All except this one. Up until yesterday.

I had finished feeding, and pulled up my chair, per normal, to watch the babies cavort while the sows had their dinners. Watched the wave go from the little pole barn to the feeders and back again. From the little pole barn to the pond and back again. Grunting and squealing, a hundred little hooved feet kicking up enough dust to choke you to death. All except the little free thinker. He went to the feeders and back, and to the pond and back, all by himself. In his own time. At his own pace.

As a matter of fact, he was on his way back from the pond, (all the others were clustered around the feeders, weaving in and out around the sow's feet), when the sand hill cranes decided to fly over.

In my opinion, a Florida sand hill crane is the modern day version of a Pterodactyl (I just want to mention that I spelled that successfully without having to look it up. Don't ask me how.) They are big birds, standing at close to four feet tall, with wing spans of up to seven feet from tip to tip. They fly much like the Pterodactyl must have, with their necks extended, sailing on wind currents, exerting little energy except on takeoff, when the beating of their wings sounds a little like a helicopter. They make a sound that is difficult to describe. The best I can do is to say that they sound like forks scraping across a ceramic plate. Scree-e-e-e-eehc! Scree-e-e-e-eech!

This particular pair, effectively buzzed my little lonesome renegade, and the effects of that buzzing was startling.

Scree-e-e-e-eehc! Scree-e-e-e-eech!

He was halfway between the little pole barn and the pond when the massive shadows fell over him. In mid-stride he froze, and if I had been able to read his mind I suspect that he would have been thinking something like...


He dropped to his belly in the dirt and tightened himself up into as small a piglet package as was possible. Somehow, instinctively, he knew what I had to ultimately look up in the Encyclopedia.

'DIET OF THE SAND HILL CRANE: Sand Hill Cranes are opportunists, eating aquatic invertebrates, insects, worms, SMALL MAMMALS, young birds and eggs, seeds, grains, bulbs, berries, lichen and aquatic plants.

Yep, there he was, right on the menu, and out there in the middle of the pasture all by himself, and at two to three pounds maybe, soaking wet, he was little enough to be classified as a 'small mammal'.

Fortunately for him, the cranes were not looking for something to eat. I'm not really sure if they would eat him, even given the chance, as piglets are tough to catch, and probably about as easy to crack into as a coconut, but one thing's for sure, he wasn't taking any chances.

As soon as the cranes were out of 'piglet plucking' range, he covered the twenty some yards from his current location to the feeders and in the wink of an eye he had buried himself firmly into the crowd, with nothing but his little white tail showing, and even that was quivering slightly.

I sat and watched the piglets until it got too dark to see them, and from that point on, the little free thinker had become part of the wave. In fact, he became the 'middle' of the wave. He WAS the wave. He got jostled, and trampled, and run over, and I imagine that was why he abandoned the wave to begin with, but he held his ground. I guess he figured that being jostled, and trampled, and run over was a sight better than being snatched off the ground by a bird that to him was about the size of a 747.

Dave Smith    Posted 02-11-2004 at 12:58:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Another good story, Thank you Cindi.
Dave <*)))><

Cindi    Posted 02-11-2004 at 15:11:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thank YOU Dave

Alias    Posted 02-11-2004 at 10:54:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi, as always, I enjoyed this story. Sometimes when I start reading what others write at this site, I stop before I get to the end. Not so with your stories. I'm glued to the screen until the last word. Thanks, gfp

Cindi    Posted 02-11-2004 at 15:12:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
That was a fine compliment, thank you gfp!

KellyGa    Posted 02-11-2004 at 06:22:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Another one to add to the book. I can always visualize you stories. :) Thats a lot of piggies, by the way. :)

Cindi    Posted 02-11-2004 at 07:18:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep and that's only about half of them, more on the way!

sand hill crane    Posted 02-11-2004 at 06:13:17       [Reply]  [No Email]

Remeber these things are four feet tall.

Bob Sheldon    Posted 02-26-2004 at 12:04:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]

You should request permission before posting photos from another site. My site specifically states that all photos are copy righted and pemission must be obtained prior to any usage. If you had asked, I would have given permission on the basis that proper credit be given for the source of the photo. So, please either remove it from the posting or add credit for the source, Robert Sheldon Photography at

Bob Sheldon

john    Posted 02-11-2004 at 04:32:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Awwww I rememebr watching the wee ones and their wee pig ways, truly entertaining and relaxing..I remember another experiance thouhg,,no so relaxing,but entertaining as well..we had over 400 rescue pigs at the sanctuary and it was a summer day, up the drive came a pickup with boxes piled up taller than the cab. it was Tommy with his lates donation. 68 cartons of day old collard greens!!They were rotten or spoiled,just a little mushy from being out of the freezer I think. I quickly fed them out,making sure every pig had their share. this was about 11am and the rest of the day the pigs just lay around sunning or relaxing by the ponds. That evening however, a cetain aroma filtered around the farm. I paid no attention to it as pigs will be pigs I guess.ther was a full moon that night and when I went out at 11pm to make the final check of the barns and pens I noticed the aroma being stonger and more pungent. Now I never ever smelled this before,but then again I never had over 400 pigs with gas! all around I heard little sounds of "Pf-f-f-ft or B-r-r-r-up" and that night was the only nioght I can remember I was afrid to light a smoke, there was a full moon out and a slight green glow covered the grounds.The dogs were pawing the ground and rolling, the cats 2were trying to clean their fur from the smell adn teh chickens were just asleep,whether unconscious or sleeping I never did find out. I made my rounds,( with some breath holding) and went back into the house, going into the bedroom,past the bathroom I was asked by the wife," Whew! after your done in the bathroom,couldn't you at least light a match?" I laughed and thought,,not here! not here!

Lol!    Posted 02-11-2004 at 04:45:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for the head's up on that one! No collard greens! They have enough gas as it is. I don't know what it is about my husband but when one of the pigs rips one he just laughs until he's holding his sides. I think farting is man comedy. My son is the same way.

Good story!


Lori    Posted 02-11-2004 at 05:19:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ah Cindi, I've missed your stories. Glad I can look here from time to time.

Hey another familiar....    Posted 02-11-2004 at 05:40:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
name! Lol! How have you been?


TB    Posted 02-11-2004 at 06:12:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi You know most all of us read your stories. Justsometimes by the time we read them my comment had allready been said. Keep it up. Anouther good story there Cindi . Cul8er

Cindi    Posted 02-11-2004 at 06:14:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks TB!

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