I did not check the pigs before going to bed, not because I was too cold but because I did not want to risk them getting up out of their warm beds.
And now we slowly slowly rise up. By this morning (now) we are up to 6F and by this afternoon the warm air that is rolling in, a caboose following that long bitter mass of cold, that crawled its zeppilin body across the faces of the prairies last night, will take us to a high of 16F/-8C.
If the animals understood English they would know that last night was the coldest night for this month. And they would smile that that night is behind us. Now we get a bit of breathing space.
Boo and his Barrow (a barrow is a castrated boar pig) are such sweet friends. The Barrow has his own room where he sleeps when we are outside working but when we come in he stands at his door listening and gently oinking and we let him out into the house. Straight away he gets as close to the fire as he can where he finds Boo.
He has crossed over from stock to pet and I have called the wonderful Pig Rescue lady – Lori – she will find a home for him this week so that I can get him settled before I go away on Friday.
John and Ton will not be able to manage a pig inside with all their other duties and winter is my travelling time so I cannot force extra responsibilities on them. Boo is happy with a pig inside but Ton does nothing but pace and sneak up on the little pig from every direction endlessly guarding him. So off The Barrow will go to begin his new life on a little property with other pets. My only request is that he can find a home where he has a heated pen for the winter. I told you he was the runt – right? He was that tiny, tiny boy baby of Poppy’s. Once I worked that out in my head it made some kind of sense. He is slowly eating more and I think he has begun to put on weight.
What amazes me is how fast he has changed to trusting humans and dogs, learning his toilet corner, working out which is his bed, and sleeping and SNORING on his mattress by the fire. (I have taken away the New Zealand Sheepskin because just like a pig he began to EAT it.)
Today will be cold but the sun should come out this afternoon and we are climbing up out of the huddled dark and bitter cold into the sunlight. Just a few more days of shuffle-steps across the frozen skate rink that is the Quad. Our buildings all sit around this area and all the trucks and the tractor and our footsteps have turned the ice and snow between the barns and sheds and the house into a polished skating rink. We creep across it carrying the buckets and hay and feed and machines, criss crossing, our eyes searching for new safer spots to put out boots. But not for much longer. The warm is coming, then it will melt and the ground will go softer but I much prefer mud to ice.
Now I will get out my teensy tiny suitcase and begin to prepare for my own travels.
I hope you have a good day.