I hurried home from the office yesterday to finish up a small fencing project for the cattle. Once they were fully engaged with the lush, green, 24-inch long growth in the new paddock, I grabbed a flashlight to go have a look at our four little Mulefoot pigs.
Kate had just placed a big pan of warm oatmeal, complete with real cream, real butter and a bit of brown sugar into their pen. She was brooding about the smallest of the lot, a little yellow ear-tagged gilt she named Daffodil (because of the yellow tag; Tulip has the orange ear tag), and wanted to send her to bed with a belly full of warm and energy-rich good stuff. Kate was brooding especially because the temperature was likely to drop into the 20s overnight. I really love that about Kate.
I watched and listened as four small, smart creatures grunted with delight and emitted wonderful lip-smacking-like sounds while plowing their way through the porridge. And when they were finished, they grunted and snorted their way across the grass to their little crate, rearranged some of the straw, piled inside and settled in.
This morning they were still sound asleep when I left for work. In the predawn glow, I could just make out four little black noses peeking from beneath the straw; all were snoring contentedly.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.