Coach and I have been waiting on a gilt to farrow for, I don't know, maybe twenty years or so. Maybe it's just been a week but we've been antsy. We have cool farrowing huts with crates on the inside and Coach made the comment, "When she tears the front of the shed off, she's ready to pig." ("Pig" being a verb in this case meaning to farrow or, for the farm impaired among you, to have babies.)
We went outside to check her yesterday morning before six a.m., threw the door open to the top of the shed and...no pig. The gilt had apparently had her fill of not being with her girlfriends and had made an escape. She was in the alleyway, she was happy and we were late for work so off we went. "Hmrph, she's not going to go today, anyway," I told Coach and took off.
At three that afternoon, I rolled back into the farm. The cows were out, the water tank in the truck needed to be filled, I had more grocery bags than I could carry and there were three piglets in the alley with the gilt who was in obvious obstetrical distress.
It is not a good deal when one reaches inside a gilt and feels the ribcage of a piglet. A little snout? Super. Front feet? You bet. Back feet? Not great but do-able. A rib cage? Ah, $%*($&#!
I got the piglet pulled and it was too late for his little piggie soul but his removal opened the proverbial piggie floodgates.
Coach didn't see me when he pulled in an hour later but as he drew nearer to the alley, he saw my hair behind the gilt and me, the Princess of Pigs, shoulder deep in his gilt. Right as he reached the gate, I pulled a little Hamp pig into the air, covered with yucky, yellow mucus.
"Here you go, Coach,"
"Love you," and he grinned.
"Love you. Take the pig,"
Later that evening in the house, after we fed the cows, processed the piglets, put the cows in, moved the gilt back to the repaired shed and ate the carrot cake I baked that day, (I know, right!) Coach told me he darn near proposed to me while we were in the alley and I was arm deep in the gilt. It was the most romantic thing I had ever heard and it sounds like, one of these days, it will be a really good story.