Piglet Pandemonium


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The best laid plans always begin with a well thought out and perfectly executed idea. This is probably why our plans rarely work well. It all started with the new fence. We himmed and hawed and finally decided on rough cut boards. Functional as well as visibly appealing in my opinion. All summer and most of the fall was dedicated to building my beautiful new fence and after only a dozen or so family meltdowns and a couple of smashed in thumbs, our work was complete. Even the principal of the school had to admire how well my family worked together and after she heard of the fencing job, the boys were excused from announcing in the playground several expletives they’d picked up in the process. And so, with the last hammer of the nail and four letter word uttered, we breathed a sigh of contentment and tucked the pigs into their new enclosures.
During this time one of the sows had farrowed a lovely litter of twelve and as much as I loved having them romp free around the farm, the time had come to separate them from their mom. We were glowing with pride at the new pen we had ready for them. Their house was filled with warm bedding and I imagined how such a welcoming environment would sooth the distress of weaning. As I propped myself against the fence to admire the barnyard, a new thought occurred to me. Unfortunately, the space between the boards was just large enough for the piglets to wiggle through and they’d be running back to mom within seconds. Huh.
“Well, maybe we should string some wire along the bottom?”
“Yes, we could, but I didn’t spend months tearing down all the wire fencing and building a board fence only to put wire over the boards again. What would the point in that be?”(said with escalating hysteria)
“Ok, so now what?”
“How should I know? Why do I always have to come up with a solution?”
And so on and so forth….. If memory serves I should add that one of us chucked the pitch fork into the bush and stalked away with haughty indignation, but I wouldn’t want to mention Paul’s name. After a couple of days, we decided to string some electric fence. Just one strand along the bottom would do the trick until they were bigger and unable to squeeze through the slats. We went to the feed store to make the required purchases and just as we were about to begin setting up, the heavens opened in a freak snowstorm, complete with weather channel warnings and all.  No problem, we’ve worked in worse. With chattering teeth and soaked clothing we were finally able to turn on the electric fence. The faint hum coming from the wire was a sweet sound after all we’d been through and we called the boys over so they could help move the piglets in. Amazingly this went off without a hitch. I was so giddy I wasn’t thinking straight and so the only safety precaution I took was to sing the boys a song:
“Don’t wizz………..on the electric fence!”
Thinking that was sufficient enough information I turned toward the house with plans of a warm and relaxing hot toddy floating around my head.
The screaming and squealing exploded right about then and I turned to see Quinn with one hand on the ground post and the other hand on the electric wire. His eyes were bulging and his horrible scream curled my toes. He managed to let go and began sobbing in great gulps which in turn spooked the piglets something fierce. All I could do was watch as a dozen piglets went running right through the electric fence, out into the barn and straight back to their mom. Little sparks permeated the night and with each squeal I grew closer to the realization that all hope of weaning the piglets was lost, at least on this night.
Once the initial shock wore off, we assessed Quinn and found him to be just fine. Thankfully he stopped drooling and rocking after a couple of days and the only sign that anything happened at all is a funny twitch in the left eyelid.
As for the piglets, I’ve decided that having them romp free around the farm isn’t so bad and eventually they’ll be big enough to move to their new home. We’ve also decided that fencing really isn’t our forte and have abandoned future fencing projects in favor of totally renovating the barn. I have high expectations that our foresight and common sense will carry us through and that the end result won’t be quite as shocking as the new fence proved to be. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

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2 thoughts on “Piglet Pandemonium

    1. Brianna, I am constantly amazed at the talent you have with the English language, way to go girl. I sense a budding author and a book in print.

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