Mr Pig came home, and this time it was me tripping the light fantastic from left to right. Mr Pig had been up the road at the neighbour’s. “You’ll find him in the piggery,” she said, so off I tootled with the horse float in tow. With the car and float nicely turned and parked in the paddock, and with the back door down and some Sweetfeed on the floor waiting, I headed off to the piggery carrying a bin of enticement. Just as I reached the piggery, calling, “Mr Pig, Mr Pig,” as you do, Mr Pig thundered up the hill opposite the piggery and through a gate which was nowhere near where he was supposed to be and, during the next few seconds, my brain went into survival mode as I realised the distance between me-and-the-horsefloat was twice as much as the distance between me-and-Mr Pig. Mr Pig was not looking at the horse float ... Mr Pig was looking at me, and the enticement!
Out running Mr. Pig over a short distance is not too difficult, being as I am reasonably fit and he is reasonably fat, but the distance between me-and-the-horse float belonged to your ordinary, average farmer - the sort who knows that dead sheep eventually walk away by themselves with, perhaps, a little help from the odd seagull or two! At this stage the look of ravenous hunger on Mr Pig’s face assisted my flight as I decided a detour in a circle would be the best option and off I went, bin held high, negotiating fallen logs, half-cut thistles, bits of rusting machinery, and a couple of sheep who hadn’t quite finished leaving! I thought I heard laughter as I skipped and scampered with Mr Pig loudly proclaiming that the bin tearing along in front of him was his, but time was of the essence and I wasn’t game to look. I made it to the float just as Mr Pig made it to the float and as I stood gasping, his interest zeroed in on the ramp and up he trundled to the feed he knew would be waiting. I wasn’t mistaken - there was laughter. In fact, there were several waves of laughter lined up along the neighbour’s fence on the other side of the piggery! I haven’t heard yet what is being said around the district about this little spectacle but you can bet your boots there will be several people getting good value from it.
Getting Mr Pig out of the float and into the right place at Middelmost is easy as he knows where to go and, once again, knows his stomach will be catered for as soon as he gets there. I was concerned the new pigpen arrangement might confuse him slightly, but the call of cut-up lemons removed his hesitation and in he went. All I could think of as his big, fat bottom followed his big, fat face was, “He’s not going to fit ...!” Mr Pig is a large lad.
The deed has been done with Little Cream Cheese and I will now carefully count the days to see if the deed was done properly with both girls. I’m sure it has been as Mr Bull certainly looked as if he knew what he was doing and both girls were definitely standing for him. Bulls are such funny creatures - they love wearing hats. Every time a fresh load of baleage was put out, Mr Bull had to pop some on his head, and several strands of any weeds or pulled grass thrown over the fence would somehow get to decorate his ears. But the most annoying thing about his fashion habit was the way he delighted in tipping over the plastic drum I use as a water trough, emptying the water all over the already sodden paddock and then spending the rest of the afternoon gleefully tossing it about as the girls looked on thirstily. The second time he played this game (in the same afternoon!) the matter was dealt with by giving him a large plastic feed bin to play with. He doesn’t seem to be doing any damage to it and the water is now staying in the water trough.
Africa has come home. It’s only a temporary measure until she goes up north, but the oversized weaners still following her around in the grazing paddock were chewing her titties and I couldn’t leave her with them. Her new owners will now have the added bonus of having a nurse cow that has been broken into hand milking. Her first lesson was interesting. Coming into the cowshed and being tied up for food was no hassle - she is an expert at that! Having her back leg roped was a different matter. Most cows will have a good kick for the first two or three times, but I had forgotten how big Africa was and how close she would be to the back wall of the cowshed.
Off she went, lashing out vigorously, her back leg pounding the corrugated iron behind her flat. Everyone within a radius of five kilometres must have wondered who I was murdering as I wrestled with the end of the leg rope as it was being swung violently around. For the first lesson to be effective the cow must learn that the leg rope will not come off no matter which way, or how hard, she swings her leg, once the lesson had started, I had to stick with it praying like mad that the back wall would hold together. It only took a few minutes yet my arms said it was at least half an hour. Africa decided she had had enough of the noise crashing away behind her and she put her foot down. She hasn’t lifted her leg since and like her mother, Little Cream Cheese, Africa is a dream to milk.
Tomorrow, for a special treat, I am going to use her milk to make some cottage cheese. Her new owners now have a proper house cow and I have been able to try her milk. The corrugated wall had held together but the doors of the cupboard on the other side of the wall had burst open and all of the contents of that cupboard had been propelled across the floor. Not to worry - I’m sure relaxing on the veranda savouring crackers covered with cottage cheese topped with slices of tomato and garnished with little bits of basil will make up for it.