|We were each wearing six layers of winter clothes when we left NY. M had to keep both hands on |
the steering wheel, so she couldn't grab my camera!
Since she voiced her intent on driving down and back in one day to fetch him - by herself - I, being ever eager to go Traveling with Marianne, offered to take a vacation day and go along for moral support, help in emergencies, and for comic relief. We were all set for a Tuesday trip when, whizzbang out of the blue, Marianne's gilts went into heat on Sunday. Apparently, there is a very small window of opportunity for breeding once the gilt is in heat. So...we left early Monday morning.
The trip began in minus double digits, as Sunday night was the coldest on local record for quite some time. I basically had time to throw hay at the sheep, throw feed in the closed-up coops, hook up fresh water bottles for the rabbits (which, I am sure, refroze in minutes) and race out the door. Five hours and three states later, we located the farm and met the farmer who was holding the boar for Marianne. It was quite a spread - big barn, lots of acres, perfectly neat and tidy, with it's new house, outbuildings, fences. The boar was smaller than we thought he would be and even for his age. And there were other issues which I won't address here, as it gets me (and M) steamed just to think about it. But he went easily into the back of her pickup, which was crammed with nice, fresh hay. G buried his snout in it and sighed. He made a nice nest and settled in for the ride back. We decided (notice how I am so proprietary with M's pig) to name him Giovanni, hoping that the mere name would endow him with successful romantic accomplishments.
|The farmer's wonderful red border collie with a Tamworth charge.|
Five hours and three states later - but this time with pig shine-ola on our boots in a warm, closed truck cab - we arrived at her farm in the dark. Thank goodness for four wheel drive, as M had to power up an unlit, snowy hill to her barn. Where we were met by her two gilts...outside! (Enclosed in an electronet fence, however) Apparently, they had maneuvered a board or two on their pen and had gone on a little adventure down the drive and into the road. Some very nice neighbors were able to herd them back up to the barn and into the fencing. What ensued after our arrival was not what M had had in mind. I, by contrast, had nothing on my mind, being totally numb. The two, larger PMS-ing pigs attacked G at every turn. They bit him bloody. M found that, contrary to what she had been told, G had had no experience with electric fencing, so he plowed right through it. Thank goodness Melanie had met us there! I wimped out after half an hour, my excuse being having left the dogs alone for over 12 hours. (Now, don't think I'm a cruel, uncaring person - my neighbor and frister, Kay, had bravely come over to let them out in the afternoon.) It was -8 degrees when I left, with M and M struggling to put the girls back in, keep the boy from heading down the drive and setting up a place for him to stay that was NOT with the girls. It all resolved itself after I was safely home, and I got a lovely loaf of bread out of it to boot (thank you, Melanie!) Unfortunately, I spend so much time gawking that I forget to take pictures even when I remember to bring my camera. Maybe next adventure.
For now, I have filed another exciting road trip with Marianne in my favorite memories album. I hope there are many more to come...that don't necessarily involve pig shine-ola on my shoes in a warm, enclosed space.