I find hogs endlessly amusing. They are just so different than the ruminants that typically fill our farm. I'll confess to spending way too much time simply standing at the fence and watching their habits and interactions - a pastime which is never disappointing and always reminds me of watching a group of human toddlers.
For example, the other day we moved our current batch of feeder pigs out of our garden (where they had been providing free pre-planting rototill service) and into a new pasture. Our barn lot is in between the garden and their new pasture, so we let them play in said barn lot while we moved over their feeder, water tank and port-a-huts. All said and done, with the help of a small tractor, it took about 25 minutes. Pretty efficient, huh?
Not quick enough. In the time it took us to move the essentials, the hogs were a flurry of toddler-esque activity. They pulled net-wrap off hay bales; running across the lot dragging, playing and fighting over it. They knocked over water buckets intended for their water tank. They chewed on barn siding. They dug up an ancient goat skeleton. They mercilessly terrified some cats ... I could go on and on. In summary, they know how to make short work of mischief!
However, just as I inexplicably love my own toddlers (despite the destruction they leave in their wake), I have a strong feeling of endearment towards the swine residents and couldn't imagine our place without them.
Just like a parent gazing on their sleeping child is filled with warmth and quickly forgets the tears and struggles of the day, it soothes me to hear the hogs' contented grunts and sighs. And, no matter where I am on our small farm, the highly audible sound of their feeder lids clanking is a reassuring reminder that, no matter what narrow-minded flurry I'm currently caught up in, life goes on around me and I only need to stop, breathe and observe.
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