Monday, 14 November 2011

Glass houses

People who live in glass houses...

...shouldn't keep pigs.

Nor should chickens who live in glass houses. Nala careered into the greenhouse (where the chix live) and smashed two panes of glass yesterday. The gardeners who were here to move the pig-free sty from north to south repaired the greenhouse with wood. So now we have a house of straw, a house of sticks, and a house of bricks. Hooray! Bring on the big bad wolf!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pigging out

The pig wolfs her food down. Is that where the pig/wolf connection comes from? Do wolves wolf pigs down? Or do they pig out on them? Anyway, the pig pigs out/wolfs down the food, so she has a piggy snack ball. It's a bit like a hamster exercise ball except that it's not filled with hamsters.

As Nala rolls the ball, snacks fall out of small holes and she snaffles them up. It keeps the wolf from the door between meals. Or maybe it entices the wolf, with the sounds of pig snuffling.

At last, arrival photos

This should have gone up first. Oh well.

Nala arrived in a large lorry. She had been travelling for six hours and was NOT well pleased with that.


She was so keen to get out she went all blurry.

But then she became less keen and had to be herded out.

After this bit, she got on the ground and had to be herded by all five available people and her pig board, so no one was free to take any photos.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

This little pig...

built a house of straw. Or, rather, she delegated the task to me. Strictly speaking, it's a house of climbing frame, tarpaulin and straw. She did the straw. I did the rest.

Nala (for that is her name) has a very lovely pig sty (which I am told should be called an ark, as though she will fill it with fellow creatures and sail away when the rains come). However, the pig sty is in the bottom part of the garden and the pig is in the top, through an archway that the sty won't fit through. When the pig sty was delivered, it was supposed to come with two brawny men who would put it anywhere. It came with one scrawny man who couldn't even get it off the lorry without my help. The only reason he helped me to move it anywhere beyond the end of the drive is because I produced a skateboard for us to move it on so that he wouldn't have to do any distasteful lifting.

So we have two regions - the south, which is the domain of the pig, and the north, which is the domain of the pig-free sty. I have tried several times to put the sty so that the pig can pass through the gate into the sty but nowhere else, and every time the pig manages to invade the north. The north has a pond (all the better for drowning you, my dear) and a tortoise gulag, currently devoid of tortoise (but I don't want it wrecked as the tortoise will return after its months in the fridge), and two ferrets (all the better for nibbling those ears you put so close to the wire).

The geographical separation of pig and pig-free sty was fine for the first couple of nights as it was warmish and dry. But then the rain came. I went out late at night and put a tarpaulin over the sleeping, damp pig. She grunted and settled under it. But yesterday I worried about her out in the rain. Would she get pneumonia? Would she get something like trench foot, or trench trotter? Would she wish she had never come here? And that's why I climbed the climbing frame, dragging plastic sheeting and string, while Nala stood at the bottom blocking the way down, and fashioned a rather rubbishy shelter. I put straw underneath, and she spread it into a bed.

And she is the most ill-housed pig in East Anglia, I'm sure. She is a pig hobo, sleeping under the equivalent of a newspaper in what passes for the favella outside the area of fine pig-free sties. When the big, bad wolf comes, it will take barely a puff...

I went out late last night to check she was sleeping in it. She was. And snoring away, until my torch woke her and she panicked, ran around in the dark grunting. She is a big pig. A big pig that you can't see blundering around in the dark is a scary thing. I ran away.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Luki and the pig

Five things you may not do with a pig

(because of UK law - you might be able to do them elsewhere.)

1. Take it for a walk.
2. Feed it pigswill.
3. Take it anywhere at all within 20 days of last taking it somewhere.
4. Take it anywhere without alerting the pig-tracking authorities you are doing so.
5. Feed it something you put on your own plate before changing your mind and deciding the pig could have it.

Five things you cannot do with a pig

1. Make it go somewhere it doesn't want to go.
2. Stop it going somewhere it does want to go.
3. Prevent it eating something it wants to eat.
4. Persuade it that you are in charge.
5. Get it out of the greenhouse.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

ETA-pig approaching

Why would you want a pig?

I wouldn't. In fact, getting a pig is probably the most stupid thing I could possibly undertake at the moment. But given all the other really stupid things I've done in my life, that isn't enough to rule it out.

So why get a pig?

Well, I'm pig-sitting. The pig will be here for a year. Less than a year. I have a dear friend who is disabled. She wants the pig, but she can't care for it until her daughter finishes university in the summer. So she asked if I'd have the pig for a few months. What sort of a friend won't pig-sit for eight months? A sensible one. Which is why she asked me.

Over the last few weeks, as pig-day has approached, I have regretted that decision a thousand times. I do not want this pig. My life is hard enough already. The pig will destroy my garden (which is hardly a thing of beauty, but nor is it a fifth of an acre of churned mud. Yet.). The pig will prevent me going away. The pig will make me feel guilty for not spending more time with it. The pig will probably fall in the pond. The pig may break through the fence and rampage around a field and get me into trouble with the law. The pig will be less trouble than my daughter.