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Archive for the ‘piglets’ Category

A life surrounded by animals is full of surprises. But just when I think I’ve trained myself to expect the unexpected, something even more unexpected catches me off guard.

About three weeks ago, a great debate started in the backyard barnyard. It began with a fat pig.

Albert said,”I think that pig might be pregnant.” And I came back with, “No, she’s just fat.” Once the thought was wedged into the back of my mind, though, I scrutinized the pig’s belly every day looking for signs. And, a week later, I grudgingly admitted (to myself) that she was probably going to have piglets, and began to mentally prepare for the possibility that the number of animals in the backyard could quintuple.

A week later, when I checked in and fed the pigs in the morning, the big pig was not interested in food and was slowly dragging straw underneath her massive body with her front feet, building a nest. And later that evening when I came by after work, there were three wiggling shapes in the straw, glowing white in the dark. Piglets!

I had no intention of disturbing the new mother pig, so I had no choice but to wait until morning to check in on them again.

In the morning, three white-pink piglets were exploring their world on wobbly legs, sniffing at everything, practicing their grunts and squeals. I pulled on my rubber boots and hopped in the pen with the pigs to add some more bedding into their shelter and they began burrowing under the straw until they were completely covered and all I could see was a pile of straw shaking and bobbing.

So, the pig count jumped from 2 to 5 overnight. Though it was a surprise, once I mentally prepared myself for piglets, I thought there could be up to ten. It would have been chaos–funny, but probably too much for me to handle. It’s all for the best that there’s just three healthy happy piglets. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the unexpected gift that they are, and try to enjoy the next surprise that comes my way.

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