Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tess's Hissy Fit

A loud thud boded ill. From the direction of Max and Tess it came. Out I rushed to see what had happened. Could see Max. No Tess. But then the pig arc did a spin and leap, and out she came from inside it, in one hell of a mood as was obvious by her hunched shoulders and generally cross demeanour. Not to worry, though, because the arc was still in the centre of the pen, well away from the fences. 

Back to the washing up I went, wondering how long Hubs would be, him having gone to the local sawmill to purchase wood for a new pig house. Another crash sounded, more ominous than the first. Out again I rushed. The arc was now jammed against the fences. To the electic box I went to switch off the current to the electric fencing. Didn't know if the arc was 'live' it now resting against one of the electric posts, so best to switch it off in case one of the pigs got fried. Raced back to the house. Grabbed some pig food. And camera. Rushed back to pen. Tess's rear was protruding from the arc. Looked like she was getting ready for another lift and heave. I yelled, trying to get her attention. She paused. Then pushed further inside. I grabbed a long piece of wood. Raced round to the arc. Banged on the roof, yelling all the while. Out she came. Man of man, but  she was one cross lady. Her shoulders were hunched and she emanated tension. She wanted the arc. Badly.


In she started to go again. With my stick I banged  frantically on the arc. With my voice I yelled. With my other hand I continued the camera-shoot. Max was busy elsewhere.

She changed her mind. Backed out again. And stood there psyching me out. You can see you tense she is. But then so would you be if you had had your babies taken away from you all in one go, then travelled in a campervan, then spent the night out under the stars in a strange place while the other pig had the safety of his pig arc. Nevertheless, I stood and psyched her back. We stood eyeballing each other for several minutes. I threw down some food to coax her into good humour. She turned her nose up at it.

But Max didn't. In he came, pushing Tess to one side with a thump in her abdomen to show he was still The Man. Infront of the arc he stood, as I drip fed him morsels of food, hoping to keep him in situ thus preventing Tess from getting inside the arc and bull dozing her way through the fence like an armoured tank. 

And then I looked over my shoulder at the road and the bridge behind me. And a badger was walking over the bridge, in the road, and then turned down our lane. A badger, crikey, a badger of all things. Not a cat. Or dog. Nor any other small creature of similar size. It was a badger. 'We don't have badgers around here' one bit of my mind said. And the other bit answered back 'Then what is a badger doing walking down the lane', then another bit of my mind said 'What the hell is it doing walking down the middle of a main road in the middle of the morning', these conversations coming to a halt as I yelled at Gus not to go investigate, me not wanting to have to untangle Gus from a situation, meanwhile leaving Tess to keep on with her assault on the arc.

And I had a moment of fazed-ness. Of the world being a very odd place sometimes. 

And then Hubs returned. Came out. Climbed in.

Tess, meanwhile, pretended indifference, as if the mischief caused was not done by her. But she was still cross. Nothing for it, but to get the arc out of the pen. Only way to do that was by doing this:

....upending the arc, not helped by the jostling of Max and Tess. At this point, Hubs said would I mind stopping photo-shooting as he thought I ought to help him get it sorted. Which I did. 

And lots of bangs and whacks and expletives later, this is the 'to be recycled' ex pig arc. 

And a strange thing: As the arc was dismantled, the tension seemed to ebb away from Tess. As if she had concenctrated all her angst in life on the arc, and now it was no more, then so too was her angst, such that a few hours later:

Please enlarge this photo, because it is one of joyful wallowing. Of two very content pigs having a soak in the water. There is nothing like seeing two pigs in the wallow. They ooze such contentment that one wishes one could get in there with them if one were of their animal type. 

And she has been a good girl ever since. 

However: She has this alarming tendency to sound like a lion. Not a roaring with open mouth lion, but one that rumbles away deep in its throat. That's what she does, a deep throated rumble that is quite alarming to hear at first. One half expects her to turn into some gigantic monster, but no, all she does is do this rumble. Nor does she charge at the fence in a manic attempt to escape. As I have said, since the arc is no more, so too is her ill humour. So I don't know what that rumble-speak is all about, but I am getting used to it, although at first I quite thought we actually did have a lion type animal around, especially since the acoustics of the courtyard tend to amplify any sounds coming in from the surrounding land.

Things I have learnt: That lady pigs can have 'bad hair' days as well, especially if they have recently been rehomed, and then suffered the idignity of having to spend a night outside while The Man spends his night under cover, and then wants to do boy-girl stuff the next day. 
Not to worry. Hubs is making a new home for them. We had erroneously thought that the old arc was going to be big enough for both of them, assuming that since Tess was a female she would automatically be smaller than him. Not so. She is a big lady. So both of them are sleeping out under the stars now. Bless.


TheChicGeek said...

Wonderful story, Vera! I love your piggies :) I think these two are going to have a wonderful life together and provide great entertainment for you and hubs..LOL

Have a Happy Day in Your Beautiful World, Vera...so good to visit you here.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I laughed from the beginning to the end of this post. Oh they look so happy in the large mud puddle. And the badger...... Diane

Vera said...

Kelly:) Bless you for stopping by, and I am glad you enjoyed the tales of Max and Tess.

Diane:) I am glad you enjoyed the blog as well, Diane. They stayed in their wallow for hours, tucked up and cosy as anything! And I still can't think what the badger was doing - that was a really surreal experience seeing it pass by like that.

Ken Devine said...

She obviously just wanted to get her own way.

Vera said...

Ken:)I'm not sure that she was being difficult and wanted to get her own way, as her bad temper left her when the arc was removed. But the wallow, now that is a battle to get her own way and what a fuss she makes until she gets prime position, which is her back to the small bank. She is one madam!

Anonymous said...

Hello Vera,
What an exciting day! Tess certainly sounds quite a character and a bit of a bossy pig.

Oh yes! I absolutely agree with you that total immersion in a language is by far the best way to learn it.


Vera said...

Hi Ondine: I was totally immersed for an hour speaking French to the farmer cutting our fields. Can't for the life of me tell you what he said, though. But it was a very chummy hour nevertheless, possibly because I have the capacity to laugh at my efforts at speaking French, which the French seem to appreciate. And yes, Tess is turning out to be one hell of a character!

Roz said...

Hi Vera - I love your new pig and I particularly love her name - but then I would, wouldn't I!!!!

Vera said...

Hi Roz:) Hope you are well. I thought that Tess seemed familiar when Hubs said he was going to call the Tamworth by that name!