Friday, May 13, 2005

On how NOT to be a farmer

It’s cool enough still to open the back door in the mornings, something I do whenever possible. I love the fresh air, the smells of flowers and damp grass, the sounds of the birds.

This morning one of my idiot dogs started barking and I stepped out the back door to have a look see.

“We have a pig,” I said mildly, wiping my hands off.
“What?” Said Darling Hubby without looking up from his magazine.
Psycho idiot dog was joined by our other outside idiot dog at this point and the barking rose to a fevered pitch.
“We have a pig out here.”
I heard the magazine hit the floor, “WHAT?!”

A few minutes later we’d walked up to the sheds and I pointed out the little pig (Darling Hubby can’t see anything without his glasses). It was a little potbellied pig and she was checking out our rather alarmed pony who is tied out in the lush grass. It only took a second to herd her into our vacant sickbay - she was very hungry - and, aside from being a bit thin and having a bloody stub where something chewed her tail off, she seems OK

Yep – if you haven’t guessed already – we have another stray. *sigh*

Our neighbourhood, though rural, is quite posh. You see, we’re within spitting distance of the lake. There’s loads of retirees, summer homes, big money. Wealthy ex-suburbanites/ city folk love the area becaue it’s ‘in the country’ but reassuringly close to civilization. The local snooty little town, Chapin, has long been considered just a wealthy suburb of Columbia. You can’t spit without hitting an SUV towing two immaculate jetskis.

All of this is well and fine – hey, good on ya for being obedient little consumers - but some of these types get Bad Ideas.

See, they get out here, they become intoxicated by the wide open spaces, the vast expanse of green, the sheer earthy one-ness with Mother Nature … and they decide to get some livestock. Oh, bloody hell.

It’s bad enough that they hit the country and immediately let their dogs run loose. “We’re in the country now!” they sigh with proprietary delight, “we can let Vladimir, our uncastrated male Kuvasz whom we paid $2000 for when we could’ve gotten a perfectly good stray from the pound, run free as nature intended!” So Vladimir and dozens like him roam the back roads killing chickens and ducks, running horses, traumatizing goats, breeding indescriminately, stirring up the neighbourhood dogs, and being killed needlessly in the road.

Wow, who knew that keeping a dog could be so easy and fun?

So they upgrade to livestock.

They start small, usually, and since they have absolutely no intentions of using these animals for their intended purposes (that would be food, BTW. But then you’d have to kill stuff – Waaah! – and I wouldn’t eat it then – Yucky! – and besides, there’s a Winn Dixie in Chapin, DUR!) they gravitate toward the novelty livestock breeds. Miniature goats, potbellied pigs, paint donkeys, etc.

There’s just one hitch, though, dang it all. Raising livestock requires WORK. With Vladimir you just feed him when he wanders home, take him to the vet when he shows up with rat shot in his arse (that would be compliments of me *waves*), and barring any nasty lawsuits which you’d win anyway because you can afford to hire a slick lawyer, it’s simple.

Not so with all the mini pigs, goats, horses, etc that you’ve collected. They require special feed and housing, a lot of vets don’t handle livestock, and they’re not a cuddly as you previously imagined. So you start to cut corners. Pigs eat dogfood, right? And everything can go into the same pen, surely. Aww, hell, so what if they get out? You’ve blithely apologized to your neighbours before, havent you? Heck, that pregnant lady down the road with all the kids has goats and stuff doesn’t she? What’s one or two more animals on her place? I think she’s a Mormon or Amish or something anyway, they know all about that stuff…

Did I say: *SIGH*?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:46 am   4 comments


At 9:21 am, Blogger john said...

not only was this hysterical, but it was *so* well written.

gary and i have a fondness for farm animals, especially cows. but let me be the first to say, we're wise enough to know we'll never have one of our own. :)

At 7:49 am, Blogger Carrie said...

Yowsers! Nothing like having to clean up after everyone else's messes! My sister and I considered a pot-bellied pig once....when I was 16 and she was 12. Fortunately, Mom said no. We had no idea how big they would get. She, obviously, did. I'm sorry you're getting stuck with the "oopsies" of people who don't think (which, I will admit, I was one of them...although I wouldn't abandon an animal. That's cruel!). How is the pig doing, BTW?

At 11:35 am, Blogger _Summer_ said...

"reassuringly close to civilization"

Perfect descriptive.

At 5:00 am, Blogger The Lioness said...

I hear you on the strays. my flat doesn't allow me anything big yet but i will, I WILL have a pig someday, they are amazing animals, clean and smart as a whippet. Whatever a whippet is.


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