Friday, September 2, 2011

Getting closer to my food

When you read about the life of a farmer no one mentions laying on your back in cold mud as a sow does her best to tear your jeans off.   I lay flat on my back just outside my hay barn, where the sow had thrown me. 

No mention of the bark and hay working its way into my waistband as i crab-scuttled backwards, watching the open mouth of the sow pass my knees as I frantically backpedal.

No, the reading I'd done before i started my farm was all about the satisfaction of getting closer to your food.  I thought about this as my food (in this case, a sow) got closer to me.   The mud was firmly packed into the back of my jeans when she decided that I was far enough from her piglets to back off.  I debated sitting there, but then decided that I wanted more distance... and a bucket of water to get the dirt out of my, ah, pants.   

It reminded me a bit about a joke I'd heard a few days before.

"A pirate ship appears on the horizon. The captain says "Men, bring me my red shirt!" The first mate fetches the shirt and the captain successfully leads an attack on the pirates that sinks their ship.

 One of the sailors asked the captain "Why do you wear a red shirt in battle?" The captain responded "because if I am wounded, you will not see blood and will continue to fight as if nothing is amiss." The crew was astounded at the bravery of the captain.

Later, twenty pirate ships appeared on the horizon. The men looked to the captain, waiting for the request that brought everyone so much strength. The captain looked at the horizon and said, "Men, bring me my brown pants!"

This was definitely a brown-pants episode. 

In the accounts I've read, there's nothing but a contented sow, joyfully suckling her pigs and grunting in deep satisfaction. 

I stood up carefully, trying to figure out whether I'd gotten hurt by something, and found no damage but my pride.  I watched the sow as I stood up, not sure if I'd provoke her into another charge by doing so, but she was content to watch me, and as I took a couple of steps backwards, turned and nosed her pigs. 

I'd been trying to move her out of the pen in the hay barn, where we'd put her a few days before, to give her piglets a roof over their heads.  Piglets have very tender skin, and sunburn very easily.  It's plenty warm enough in august, but the sun can be hard on the little guys. 

This particular sow, normally calm and placid, was very protective of her pigs, and when I stepped into the pen I thought a little gentle persuasion would be sufficient.   


Anonymous said...

Very glad you’re ok and not adding to the farmer death statistics. Or maybe the farmer chew toy statistics.

Nada said...

Actually this sort of thing has been widely mentioned. Farm animals are dangerous. Glad you lived to learn the lesson.