Yesterday when I went out to start my chores I was greeted by a string of giggling ducks wandering down the drive. Not good. They should have been in the barn laying. It was not yet light. And all their nests were empty. Not even one egg. The ducks had escaped before laying their eggs. I searched unsuccessfully. TonTon did not care. Boo was a little successful as the day wore on finding a couple but basically we came up empty handed.
I had been outsmarted by the ducks. And worse lost a days dozen. The eggs sell for seven dollars a dozen and ordered in advance so losing the entire clutch was deeply annoying.
I had to hand it to them though. They hid their eggs well.
When I got back from delivering what eggs I had to Jakes coolstore ( I pass this old school house below on my drive), I drove back up my lane to be met by Jude the little piglet playing in the driveway with the ducks.
Later I worked on the weak spots in my brick and old junk gates that barricade the openings in the barn and I hope everyone is where they should be this morning.
I have been familiarizing Jude with the world outside the barn every day for a few days now. I put his bottle inside my jacket to keep it warm and lead him on a walk outside the barn and through the garden and then back to his barn house for his bottle. Calling Go To Bed as he runs back into the barn for his drink. This way when he does escape he knows where his home is. Or that was my theory.
When a sow walks with her piglets she grunts and chats the whole time – they seem to follow her sound as much as anything. So that is what I do. As we walk, the dogs, a cat or two, the piglet and I – I keep up a chatter of repetitive words. If I stop speaking and get too far ahead I will see him freeze – like a dog en pointe – focusing hard on where I am and totally still. The moment I begin my walking song again the piglets head snaps to me and he bolts to catch up. Once he joins my little pack again he is all nose and wagging tail following the trail of my voice.
Think like a pig. Pigs in a field are seldom quiet – calling to each other in soft sonic voices as they graze like whales far under the sea. Always in touch.
It is snowing outside.
I think it will be another murky but warm day.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: After the snow gives over, in another few hours, the clouds will come out. That will be typical. Not too cold though.