Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The pig masseur

Pete the pig let out a sigh of contentment, let his back legs slowly sag and lowered himself into a sitting position - on my left foot.

I wondered whether to stop scratching his back, but it was kind of peaceful. Westray was bathed in warm sunlight, birds were singing, daffodil heads showing for the first time, the sea looking good enough to swim in.

So, ignoring the numbness creeping around my left toes, I gave him a tickle behind the ears and, as he rolled over onto his side, a good rub on his belly. I've never had a proper professional massage, but I like to imagine the bloke's version (Turkish? Finnish?) is a bit like going to an old-fashioned barber.

"And how would sir like it today?"


"No problem, did you see the football last night?"

Or something like that.

Pete finally got up and I led him back into the main pigshed where he was reunited with his brothers. I was supposed to be sorting the lads out with the biggest three due to go for slaughter today. It wasn't at all easy with quite a bit of scrapping going on, while Haka tried to mount everything as if the future of the species depended on it.

Pete was easily the biggest, but he was also the quietest and most easy-going, making no attempt to molest his brothers and generally minding his own business.

Trying hard to ignore the alarming sight of Haka with a whopping great erection heading for me, I lifted the barrier, shook the feed bucket and got Giorgios, Boss Junior and Haka (a late replacement for Pete) through, quickly slamming the barrier down to stop Pete and Tip following.

A little feed on the trailer ramp got the lads heading in the right direction, but Haka had a sudden change of mind, decided he needed to give Pete another seeing-to and jumped the wall back into the pen, getting stuck halfway.

The pig farmer made a grab for his back legs and got a handful of tail, at least I hope it was tail - he didn't squeak anyway. And there we were, a pig balanced on the wall and a pig farmer with not enough grip to pull him back. After a few quiet moments, I let go and he scrambled back over.

A little later I repeated the process, this time making sure I was behind Haka, gently shoving him onto the trailer in a "pig farmer ain't gonna take that kind of crap again" way.

Back in the shed, Pete was snuffling through some cabbage leaves, blissfully unaware how a little bonding over a back-rub had earned him an extra month.


fiwa said...

See?! It's like all those horror movies where the young couple who sneaks off for sex gets whacked first. Haka should have kept it reigned in.

I'm glad Pete is going to get a few more back scratches in his day.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I'm not sure that revelations about Orcadian bestiality are allowed by Blogger but nevertheless most entertaining. Haka on the wall and the pig farmer pushing and shoving sounds so Chaplinesque. Your attachment to Pete is touching. Couldn't he become a pet house pig?

Dave said...

Do you have a picture of him in your wallet?

I, Like The View said...

gorgeous header photo! and whether it's in your wallet or not, would love to see a pic of the boys

(the boys plural, not the boy's. . .)

Katherine said...

I understand this post 100%. I had a pig that followed me all over the farm, grunting worriedly when he lost the scent. He almost panicked when I crossed a drain to check a trough, trotting up and down on the other side making anxious noises until I returned.
Your post brought it all back. Especially the blissful sagging when they are scratched...