In the mornings when it is sunny (and not too muddy yet) I let the kunekune’s Tima and Tane out for a walk. Tane goes straight out to the South field. Tima heads the other way – down the drive right to the end and picks through the field in the East. There was corn in there you see, last summer. There just might be a kernel of two left behind. And Tima works the corners she has some kind of system to cover all the areas where the big machines turned and possibly dropped little piles of corn.
As you know Tane will not be called back in, he comes when he is ready, usually by lunchtime I see him heading back to the barn then he lays about in the sun and out of the wind and waits for Tima to come in from her hunting and gathering.
The trick is to keep him in, if he wanders back out again and walks too much more his poor old dodgy hip begins to hurt and he is a limping old man when he gets up the next day and we won’t hear the end of it.
Tima will come when she is called but NEVER comes in by herself. She fiddles about out in her corner until the dogs and I walk all the way down to the letterbox about lunchtime, apples or carrots in pockets. She turns and watches us walk all the way down there to the letterbox collect the scant offerings of useless paper and once we are half way back down the track on our return journey, calling to her, ” Tima! Come Home! ” she will start to trot along in lazy pursuit.
She always stops at the puddles to stomp through the ice with big wacks with one hoof like splitting kindling, to have a drink of ice cold rain water, then continues on to the barn. With her escort of course.
Once we reach the barn Tane heaves himself up and leads us all into their apartment. Each little pig gets more apples and carrots and within minutes they are curled up asleep. Exhausted from their busy morning. They top and tail – almost always, curving into each other like worn slightly fuzzy-edged pieces of an ancient toddlers jigsaw puzzle.
Even though it has not been too cold for too long that bad night a while ago resulted in two cases of frostbite. Chickens with big fleshy combs like this are not well suited to a cold environment. The tips of the comb will dry up and fall off. War wounds in the world of chooks. They are still laying, and recovered well.
How do you think Mr Flowers knows exactly how long his tail is. He always lays down with his tail perfectly laid along a surface behind him. Like a girl on her yoga mat.
I hope you have a lovely day.
The Kunekunes are real characters, though thinking about it, all your animals have big personalities 😉
Yes. Sometimes I think it is the observation and interpretation of their characters then I think like you that they do have big characters. For instance yesterday, while I was cleaning in the barn Sheila lifted her head and grunted her night time call to me. Her good night grunt. Her head literally up and turned to me. It appeared clear to me that she was calling me over to her. So I put down my fork and went to where she was laying and she rolled further onto her side and I gave her a scratch then heaped the straw up over her hips. She grunted thank you and snuggled back down and closed her eyes. It was then that I realised that this night time grunt is very similar to the call of a feeding sow, when she calls her piglets in to feed and sings to them as they drink. I am beginning to think that Sheila sees me as her baby. But she reacts differently with me when I bring food. Which makes me wonder whether she sees me as two different life forms or a baby that brings food. Which would be a complicated distinction in her head. I have a feeling that if I were threatened and screamed she would come to my defense. Whereas if I were attacked whilst carrying food and I dropped it would she attack the attacker? or eat the food. She is an interesting study. c
I think Sheila sees you as her best friend, or even mother. I’m quite sure she wouldn’t hesitate to defend you 🙂
I loved this post, it just captured how sweet the animals are. I just love animals. I wish I had more but my Westie and budgie will do. They have big personalities also. The dog stomps his right foot when you say what he is asking for and the little budgie amazes me every time he chirps out “what are you doing” in his little throaty voice.
Nice observations, thoughts and experiences – so cute…
I think it’s both (interpretation and big characters) but without a person who is so in tune with nature their characters/personalities would remain unique and hidden to all but themselves–they do seem to have a kind of society there–and as lost to wonder as the mysterious life of plankton,or bacteria. The interaction of humans and all life forms requires sensitivity, respect, and lots of time together–rather like a marriage. (I know that our John gets that in-tuneness, but I keep waiting for pictures and stories about him. I’m not prying, just imagining the whole farmy family.) The big question I have is, how does your spirit manage it all. You seem so perceptive and focused and aware and involved. Either that intensity feeds on itself, or you must be a kind of super-person, alert to everything, saving the world–day by day–with your camera, and later with your words. What a gift thekitchensgarden is; I give it to friends often. Thank you for your dedication to your larger family, nearby and all over. P. S. Today’s pictures and words really picked me up. I’m already more attentive to Charlie the cat, the birds at the feeder outside our window, and, of course, My Dear.
Our John is not that involved with the farm animals. No-one would describe him as being in tune. He knows a few names and knows Lady Astor because I refused to milk her unless he was there for safety reasons. Sheila’s special voice for John is a loud bark as though she feels the need to wake him up or a warning maybe. He has asked to be neither mentioned nor photographed for the blog. And frankly he is seldom in the fields or the barns. He works every day off the property. He does not have the time. This may sound hard but actually he trusts me to do a mans job without his help and I appreciate that. I make the decisions, it is my farm. It is important to know what people can and cannot do so that we do not expect too much from them. He does the best he can. He is in charge of the machinery though and he likes that side of things.
I think, like all animals, Sheila has different sounds for different occasions. And her sounds show up much she trusts you – and that’s so important.
Good morning, c. Just adore sweet Tima, and lucky you, surrounded by wonderful characters and friends. It’s a sweet life. >
It is a sweet life when we are having a stretch of GOOD like we are now.. c
Umm No, I don’t think Mr Flowers will appreciate being called a girl on a yoga mat, lol. He probably considers himself to be an ermine cloaked earl at the very least 🙂 The picture of Ton escorting Tima home is one for the calendar, in my opinion.
Miss C how do you cope with us two legged creatures arriving at the farm and wanting to rush up to the animals wanting to greet the animals like long lost friends – we have known most them from conception after all? Also will Our Cadet only be returning in the spring, missed seeing her around on the Farmy.
The Cadet has grown a little this winter and seems to have moved on. Maybe we will see her, I don’t know. c
You seem to have the most amazing relationship with your animals.
I don’t have too many – I think that allows me to study them better than most farmers have time for. c
When I saw the photo of Tima the Explorer being escorted home by Ton Ton, my heart gave quite a thump of love for that clever, naughty, endearing little minx. To me, Sheila is majestic and dignified, and inspires a different and respectful kind of love, but I feel a huge empathy with Tima and was in floods of tears when she was in such trouble and lost her babies. Endlessly fascinating to observe how different the personality of two pigs can be!
I do hope she can have babies again, I would love to see her coming back in from the fields followed by a collection of wee Kune Imps. But we will see.
That would be another heart-thumping image for me, a little row of spotted tiny Timas. If she doesn’t have babies, it won’t be for lack of trying, I think. Perhaps Tane needs to be a little more mature to come to full fertility?
He is plenty old enough and she is slowly moving over the hill – we will see.. c
It’s all I can do to keep myself from getting a couple of pigs :-o.
Would you please ask Saint Tim to video the moment you broach this subject with Maisie 🙂 Laura
Even I want to see that!
What kind of pigs would you get – if you could?
Yes, the hips are a problem, but his underbite is very endearing and adds to the charm of his face – only a problem perhaps if it stops him eating properly.
It seems that the underbite is considered an endearing quality amongst the American breeders. He eats alright though. c
A dog walks a pig – cute!! Great, great header shot! Everyday so very interesting news on the Farmy.. love it. If they sooo long for corn, isn’t there a possibility to feed them corn in winter?
Cute photo with Tane behind the wall… No, all photos are great today, all. – Again I like your apples & carrots in your pocket-story… All in all it’s such a nice Coming home to their appartment-story – heart opening.
So sorry for the chooks with their frostbites…
I Long for Cake and chocolate too! c
Ah, you mean they are on diet? 😉
No animal on earth including humans should just eat as much as they want of sugary sweets. Unless of course you are being fattened up for slaughter. Plus the kune is a lard pig, they get fat very fast.. c
As always I love your post and the narrative to the pictures is so descriptive and perfect I recently visited an alpaca farm and fell in love with those creatures. One especially, Ted, was very personable and house trained if you can believe it. He likes the Weather Channel. 🙂 My visit there made me think of your farm and the personality of each of your little creatures and how they all relate to you so well but how those relationships take time to build and a mere mortal like me could not hope to have the same with your animals. So instead I will continue to read and love your animals through your words and pictures and thank you profusely for allowing me to be an extended part of the family. 🙂 Happy Friday.
I love that you are part of our Family Beth Ann. Am alpaca inside – gosh – that must be a bit of a squash though i have heard that they are great retirement home visitors.. c
Love the post! Tima and Tane are just too adorable! No doubt we all have fingers crossed and are knocking wood and such that we see their piglets in the near future. But, as you say……, we will see. We have some warmer weather the next few days, so will be getting the garden ready! Yee-haa!!! 🙂
Gosh, that will be so satisfying – usually you are only a few weeks ahead of me – this makes me feel optimistic..
Such beautiful pictures of everyone but you know my piggy heart goes out to the piggies 🙂 I need to visit. I think we would all have a blast of playing together. XOXO – Bacon
I can just imagine you and Tima disappearing up the road, though maybe you would be happier cuddling up to Sheila for the longest naps in pigdom.
You had me at Sheila. You know I ❤ Sheila. She is my dream pig for sure! XOXO – Bacon
This was a lovely post. I needed it for my hurting heart. Thank you, miss c.
Oh no, your heart is hurting again. My poor dear friend. We will think of the beach together today.. c
Despite doing all I could, my friend killed himself Wednesday night.
Dammit – I know about this one – suicide is so selfish – so hard on the ones left behind to pick up the pieces. You did try. But he was ready. His decision in the end. Now you will begin to work on letting him go. Hard, hard, hard. Put your life-jacket on. It will get a bit stormy for a while. c
Thank you, miss c. ❤
It’s an honor to be here with you. Life is not easy for animals either, but their presence can cheer us just as we can each other. Miss C.’s wise words buoyed me just now too. Best to you in your distress.
Been there, done that also! Think most of us have . . . In my case a beloved FIL at the height of his powers and two very dear girlfriends here . . . . I don’t think selfishness comes into it . . . an intractable feeling of daily life not being worth it any more does . . . desperately sad for those who tried to avert the senseless tragedies . . . Northern Europeans seem especially prone: largely because they find it difficult to enunciate their feelings methinks: private is private for them!! . . .
Dear Seasweetie, I know how your heart must be grieving. My brother committed suicide some years ago. If you need to talk, you can reach me here: email@example.com Much love, Gayle
Thank you, sweet Gayle.
So very sorry, if only they would realize it’s an action that echoes on and on for everyone left behind.
Interesting behaviors your animals have. Will their actions change while you are gone? Will they become rebels out of protest?
I had a cow do that once! Sheila for instance has a different voice for different people and her two minders (while I am away) are well know to her but I do place them in very secure environments when i am gone, if there were to be a breakout no-one else would be able to get them back in as quickly as I do. They all have different calls and using my voice, etc. So my terror is a breakout when I am away. For the last few weeks everyone has been in their secure areas, so I am assured that I have done the best I can. c
It’s like trying to raise kids. They have a mind of their own. 🙂
I think I haven’t told you this in a long time, but it’s so lovely to have a peek into your day every morning for me. I think I also haven’t told you lately how very much I appreciate you making that effort to bring your day to me. For years now you’ve done this for me and for the fellowship. I love this ritual so much. Thank you Celi and sending you and the whole farmy so SO much love. 😀
Oh, Thank you Veronica, we are all so used to starting our days like this now.. it feels weird on the mornings when i don’t get to post.. c
I challenged myself to remember what Tima looked like as a smaller pig and did a search of the site. Up popped “Tima goes to the library” I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it was to see the littler version of our Tima, and that made me remember the stories of her sitting on your lap….
Oh that’s right, she had a little ramp that she climbed up to the couch! Such a sweet piggie she was.. now when she is inside she heads for the pantry looking for ransacking material!
I love that picture of Tane peeping round the door. And as for bearleader TonTon trotting happily beside the homing pig – fav-u-lous. A really enjoyable post today.
Yes i have put the header into my little farm book file – the kids will love that one.. c
Great pictures. Tima and Tane what a double act! I thought your observation of how Sheila perceives you was so funny. Two different life forms or a baby that brings food! Priceless 😃
Though I am still unsure how she perceives me.. sweetly I know that.. c
I just can’t get enough of Tima and Tane! Love seeing their daily routine.
They are the nicest of animals.. c
I want to repeat what Veronica said above. This is exactly how I feel too.
Can’t help wondering, “What is Ton thinking as he escorts TIma home?” you have to ad it now wonderful it is the various ani Al’s all get along, especially the cats, birds, dogs, chickens.
Do the chickens’ combs hurt? Or are the combs something like our fingernails. And isn’t it amazing Mr. Flowers has such a sense of himself and where he is in relation to what is around him. I think there’s a medical term to describe this sense but I don’t know what it is.
Spatial awareness? The combs – yes I think that initially they do hurt. This girl was walking backwards every now and then and shaking her head ever so slightly for a few hours. Luckily I found her and moved her in the night to a sheltered warm spot. But she never stopped laying or eating and never went fluffy so I guess it was a rough headache. c
You have to add how wonderful it is the animals
I too, am enjoying being part of the morning routine. I think you are a very good observer and recorder of your animal family group. I imagine having your tail feathers kinked wouldn’t be very comfortable, so Mr. Flowers arranges himself just so.
Yes, and he never kinks them he has always made an allowance for their length but they grow so fast, so that allowance must grow too – maybe they are like cats whiskers.. c
Pigs are as full of personality as dogs. I adore pigs. (and sheep, and cows, and goats, and horses, and cats and dogs…and well… I think you get the picture. 🙂 )
Yes!! I bet you are enjoying watching your cow visitors now. c
That photo of Tima and Ton Ton – classic!
I have filed it into the good file!
Your writing today is extraordinary.
Thank you Audrey. c
I miss our pet pigs! We had one, she grew to be about 700+ lbs – Penny- and just as spoiled as yours. We didn’t (purposely) let her roam about – too close to the road & highway, however; several times I came home from work and she would not be in her pen. Think she liked her games of hide-and-seek with me – grrr – LOL. Last year we tried our very first teacup pig – Maggie. Loved her too, unfortunately they need a calmer household than ours is right now. Some day we would love to have them again – not till my grandson gets a lot older. Thank you for sharing, brought back some fun memories!
700 pounds! Goodness. I have no idea how much Sheila weighs. Is a teacup pig really the size of a teacup? c
I love those pigs of yours! I’m seriously considering getting a couple of piggies (American Guinea Hogs) in the next few years (but this spring I get to have Baby Girl #2, so that’s enough for 2016, I think). We’re vegetarians, so they’ll be pets who earn their keep by tilling fields and keeping the weeds down. But we don’t have a barn for livestock — I’d have to build them some sort of smaller shelter, maybe something like your pigs’ semi-circle shelters, but better insulated and protected from drafts for the winters. I’ve heard that AGH are cold hardy, but what do you think, given how your pigs like their barn when it’s cold out?
My barn is similar to living in a colander – no colder inside than outside but dry and out of the wind, so if they have a shelter that keeps them out of the rain and wind and there are two of them – they will be fine. Lots and lots of straw and ventilation – seems to work. I would sleep Sheila out in hers but she has the twins to teach and no point me traipsing all the way out there to feed her.. c
I always heard that kunekunes made great companions, but never realised how much until now!
They really are the perfect pet, if you have a big back yard! She also is a snuggler like a big cat. c
I second that, Percy and I have a chat every day. After he has his say he tilts his head to the side to look at me as if to say ‘you know what I mean?”. He’s very disgruntled if he doesn’t get his daily dose of attention but gets very cranky if I try to give it to him at meal time! Even when he’s totally buried in his bed he gives his little hello grunt when he hears me out and about.
A girl on a yoga mat .. Love this! Squabbling amongst my birds has seen the odd damaged comb. Never a pretty sight. Love those kunes …
Fabulous! I would love to take a shot like this!
C. I’m so sorry to have missed this but I didn’t realize Tima lost more than one baby. Was it 2 in the same pregnancy? The images of those two trotting home today then snuggling together are so endearing. Those Kunes! Who wouldn’t love them?
That is interesting about Mr. Flowers and his tail.
A really wonderful posting today — thank you. Like others, I just love Tima and her escort. I notice how Boo goes on ahead but TonTon stays right with Tima, with his eye on her the entire time. He has a job and will do it well. It does look like a really lovely day! ~ Mame 🙂
Wow. This is such an interesting post Cecilia. It’s been a while since I’ve been over to your wonderful blog and I have soooo much to catch up on (I will have to sit down with a cuppa and actually have a proper read). Tima, Ton and Tane (three T’s!) are so lovely. I can totally imagine my Loki making best friends with a pig and trotting around all day (he is such a friendly, accepting pup!). Hope you are doing well yourself, C! xx
You know your animals well… each personality and quirk. There is always something to glean from these characters that are a part of our lives. They present a gift, a special nugget of wisdom.
How’d I miss this post yesterday?? I’m so glad I found it in my ‘WordPress Reader’. What a fun post!! I get such a kick out of your descriptions and tales of your animal friends !!! ; o)
That pig walking down the street with Ton behind her is too funny. Such purpose. As if she’s going to, I dunno, catch a plane or something.