Hey Mom. My Dreams Came True.


When I was a little girl, to the chagrin of my mother, I used to sneak out of my grandparent’s house over to the pig pen and wait with handful of grass firmly in my grasp  for a good 15 -20 minutes,  waiting for the piglets to get brave enough to take some.  I’d hold completely still because, if I moved at all, they’d certainly take off in the other direction and ruin minutes of hard work.  When I had had enough of squatting I would run back inside completely emaciated with the smell of pigs, usually within an hour of going to church.  My mom was never very pleased.

I think as a child all I ever wanted was to be loved by animals.  And have them love me.  Such a simple childhood wish.

So, in lieu of my childhood dreams, the family that I am staying with has pigs as well.  However, these are quite a different breed than the typical midwest American breed.  It looks something like this:

 

But wait, that’s not all there is to this picture…

That’s right, that’s my hand on this beast.

This is a Kunekune pig, native to New Zealand.  Despite their horrifying looks, they are incredibly tame.  I was trimming the edges underneath their electrical fencing and at first I stayed outside the fence even though it put me on an awkward downward slope.  They kept coming up to me and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  Finally I decided it wasn’t worth it and started cutting from inside their pen.  To my surprise they slowly moved around their 1/2 acre or so with me.  At first I just thought it was by chance, but towards the end when they had accompanied me the entire circumference of the field I realized they were following me.  They just like the company.

There you see one of the sows right up against my leg to take a sniff and to say hello.  This always makes me a little nervous but they mean no harm.  I mean, just look at them:

If you didn’t believe me, this is the above sow getting her belly rubbed.  I creeped up right next to her and did exactly the opposite of my instincts: reached down bellow her belly and started rubbing.  She flopped right over.  I must have petted her for about 15 minutes and she was grunting in a slow comfortable way the entire time.  My hands got pretty sore, though.  Their fur isn’t exactly silky smooth.  It’s more like wire.

And to see a full length of the sow, here she is standing back up from her long belly rub.

And just one more look at that adorable face:

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