If you’ve been out to our farm or had a conversation with Houston, Emilie or me, you know that almost everything we’re doing is something we’ve never done before. Six weeks ago our learning curve took a steep incline when we acquired two pigs and two donkeys.
We’ve gotten into a good routine of feeding and cleaning up after the animals. They even meet us at the paddock gate when we pull up, eager for the food they know is coming.
But last Thursday morning I was met with a surprise when I arrived for the morning feeding. I noticed the pigs didn’t seem as interested in my arrival as usual. And Rupert, our young Kunekune pig, looked especially round. I got through the gate and understood why. The strong winds and/or an animal had knocked the door of the food shed off, and the pigs had gotten into their food. It was a new bag, and half of it was spread either on the floor of the shed or on the ground in front. The other half appeared to be in Rupert and Bertha’s bellies.
What ensued was nothing short of frustrating. It would have been amusing if I’d been watching it on YouTube. Instead, I was in the thick of it. Picture this: Pigs rooting around, getting as many of the tiny pellets as possible, while I was trying my darndest to clean them up.
Inside the shed, the food had become mixed with the donkey’s Timothy grass, to the point of being impossible to separate. Outside the shed, as I tried to shovel the food up to keep it from the greedy pigs, it became pulverized and mixed with dirt and grass. In vain, I tried to keep the pigs at bay, while they were squealing and snorting and making all manner of pig noises.
Meanwhile, gentle Ruth and the often moody Daphne looked on patiently.
Needless to say, I didn’t feed the pigs their allotment that day. When I left some 20 minutes later they were still scouring the area in front of the shed for tiny morsels. At that moment, I was reminded of the idiom “eat like a pig,” which in case you were wondering, basically means eating in a greedy, noisy, ill-mannered fashion. I also decided that maybe pigs don’t know when to stop eating. They are literally obsessed with eating.
My takeaway last Thursday was that pigs are indeed pigs. They’re noisy, greedy and will do just about anything to get their food.
It made me consider: How am I like a pig? Are there areas in my life where I become obsessive and lose perspective? If I’m honest, I’d have to say I can be very task oriented - to the point of ignoring signals that my co-workers, namely Houston and Emilie, need me to just to be with them, without an agenda.
How about you? Are there areas in your life where you’ve become obsessive and insensitive to the needs of those around you - even to your own needs?
Sherry Asbury Clark is Co-Founder of Purdon Groves and a freelance writer. Her column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, appears each week in the Corsicana Daily Sun. You may reach her at email@example.com. For more information on Purdon Groves, a farm, table, venue and retreat property, check out purdongroves.com or visit their Instagram or Facebook pages.