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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The grumpiest pig alive is still grumpy

Rosie the pig is still grumpy. In fact, I think her grumpiness increases by at least 5% of her overall grumpiness each year. This means since she arrived with Stevie the Kissing Goat some years ago, she is extra grumpy.

About a year ago, in the rainy season, I found Rosie standing in the cold, wet rain, while all the other animals were in the barn. This was not usual behavior, and she was trembling. She was up near Old Barn at the time, and she refused to come back to the main goat barn. I assumed at the time it had something to do with Eleanor and Earnest, and pecking order, or Marcella. So I managed to get her to go into Old Barn where I had a large area of straw for just such a surprise need. I got her warm water, and food, and brought in even more hay. I checked on her an hour later and she was buried in her royal princess bed, and the trembling had subsided. I decided to let her spend a week or so there to make sure she got rested.

But Rosie had other plans. This place is what I've needed all along, finally. My own suite.

Last spring, I tried to encourage her to come out to the barnyard again. The new sun was just the right temperature for her sensitive piggy skin-which as many of you know requires me to lather her highness in olive oil and sunscreen if she is outside. But Rosie was not interested in leaving her ground floor suite.

"I am fine right here. Leave me," she said.

So I did, thinking in time I would sway her back to her original digs.

There is nothing wrong with her staying in this palatial, private wing. She had her straw bed, and ample room to roam in-although Rosie doesn't roam much any more-she sleeps. And while there were no pig companions, there were roosters and donkeys, and depending on the time of year, thirty sheep that chewed cud from the other side of her bedroom-reassuring her she still lived on a farm, not a city condo. And lets not forget, Rosie never was fond of other pigs. She is what we call a "one pig pig".

But I missed seeing her in the barnyard. Despite the fact that each time I had encountered her in the barnyard in the past, the conversation went something like this-

"Hrumpf. No petting please, leave me be."

"Excuse me, my Pig, I apologize for catching you in a grumpy moment," I'd say moving on. "Grumpy today?"

In time, I truly came to understand, and accept, that she was perfectly happy in her suite, albeit in her own grumpy way. She didn't have to eat her food fast since no goats, dogs or pigs were wandering about; she wasn't awakened by giant white dogs with wet noses; the chickens caused minimal intrusion on her life there; she had her own water bucket so the ducks didn't dirty it and dogs didn't lay in it; and she had sun streaks streaming in from the cracks in the old barn lighting up and warming her portly piggy body without the need for sunscreen.

Like many of The Misfits that have come here to live out their days, she had transitioned to another stage of her life-where she could be her grumpy self and nobody would notice. And that is okay. She is content. Hrumpf.

When guests come, I ask them if they'd like to see the grumpy pig. But I tell them they must tip toe in through the old barn behind me, and not say a word, because the grumpy pig is buried in her straw bed, snoring. What I find most enjoyable is the guest-adults and children-really do mimic me and my tip toeing and it's a world of fun to know I get total strangers to walk like that. We all sneak up to her snoring highness, buried in her straw, and I gently call her name, and up she flies, out of bed with straw and dust flitting about her. I usually get one or two guests to jump too. It is possibly warped shepherdess humor, but it always is amusing. And then I rub her ears or belly, and introduce her to the guests.

"Hrumpf, hrumpf eeeiii squeal grunt hrumpf...snort snort."

I then take them out to rub Earnest's belly, so they understand that not all pigs are grumpy.

So that is what the world's grumpiest pig has been up too.