Because our piglet business has picked up a bit this year, I determined to find a few more Hereford sows. Find them I did, but they were up in Kentucky. After two weeks of weather delays, we set pickup for last Wednesday.
Paternal forbearer and I hopped in the truck and pulled out at 6am with trailer in tow. It was drizzling.
Bear with me as we detour a bit while I let you in on an important fact about trips –
I don’t think it’s intentional. At least I hope there’s not some sadistic programmer in a California bunker laughing about how I’ll think I only have to hold it for the last 30 minutes of the trip I downloaded from his map site, when I’m actually gonna have to hold it for an hour and a half because he messed with the trip time!
Anyway, we thought we were heading four hours away. Make that more like five and a half.
Also Mapquest neglected to mention that India – in the Monsoon season – is now resting somewhere between Northern Tennessee and Central Kentucky. I have never seen such rain! And, if you remember, last Wednesday in much of Tennessee and Kentucky started in the 60s and ended in the 20s.
Also, all of Kentucky – all of it – is a mudtrack when you leave pavement. I truly feel sorry for them. They get much more ice and snow than we do, freezing the ground deeper, which produces oceans of mud masquerading as innocent pastures and fields.
The pigs loaded like a dream. Our most-likely-illegal but fully-enclosed little trailer held them perfectly – snug and secure. Sadly we had to radio in the Coast Guard to get us back onto the pavement. This is not a joke.
We had been concerned about how well our trailer would pull at interstate speeds, so our trip into Kentucky found us on mostly 2-lane highways. Not so heading home. We determined to enjoy Kentucky immensely as it receded in our rearview mirror at 70mph and I’m glad we did. Just a few hours later the interstate became impassable and lots of folks were stranded for over 18 hours that very night.
Once we got home – much later than Mapquest predicted – I had to make sure the piggies were comfortable. So, I bedded their stall, washed out their waterer and fed them. Just as I was finishing, one of our other Hereford sows came trotting up to the gate by the barn. I knew she’d gotten out of her enclosure the previous day and thought I spotted an opportunity.
I would let her in with the new sows, containing her and making sure she would be out of the weather that night. Maybe, just maybe, she’d make friends with the new girls in the stall. For a second I pictured the three of them sitting at attention, calmly in a circle, warm in that stall, sipping tea in their own piggy version of a red hat club. My heart tingled with excitement.
Silently congratulating myself for being so magnanimous, I let her out of the pasture and into the stall. Then I went back to farmer-like activities.
Within two, maybe three seconds a freight train whistle blast burst violently from the barn. I rushed to the stall and spotted my wayward sow being beaten savagely by our two new pigs. One was holding her down, while the other backed into the nearest corner, stood up on her back legs, climbed the slats in the stall wall and turned to face me. I’m pretty sure she winked. Suddenly the climbing pig slapped her front elbow, launched herself into the air and landed – Bam! – Elbow on stomach of the victim. I slid into the stall on my knees and slapped the ground violently, counting 3! 2!. The new pig kicked the other two off her just before I said one and everyone backed away.
With some effort I herded Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker into an adjoining stall and kept the victim where she was. I comforted her with some feed, which eventually calmed here in spite of the threats still coming from those mean Kentucky sows.
Say that reminds me!
We still have chickens for sale and we’re still in Nashville twice a week! Write now and I’ll put your name on a few.