The Pig Died Yesterday

So, I fully intended to get an update to you yesterday because I knew I wouldn’t want to take time for one today. This one will be short and sweet (mostly sweet) simply to tell you why I’m not writing. 🙂

Friday morning, Caleb and I went to Inquilpata to the market with the express porpoise of looking for Guinea Fowl. I try to do that at the end of every month; it has become a ritual. I have seen Guinea Fowl at that market twice in two years. The first time was just after we had moved down in 2019, but I didn’t have any place to keep birds then. They are, in fact, why I chose to build a chicken pen. The second time was before the lockdown. I’ve not seen them since, but I keep looking.

It is hard for me to go to market and walk through the animals without coming home with something. That is one reason why I limit myself to once per month for animal shopping–I mean, Guinea Fowl shopping. I also have learned to purposely leave most of my money at home, partly because I was once robbed of thousands of soles and partly because the less money I have, the less dangerous it is that I’ll buy something. See how I use my brain there?

There were no Guinea Fowls, but there were pigs, which are kinda the same. Right? Percy had been looking recently for a male pig to befriend our lone female pig, but the prices have been high due to the holiday season. I asked around about prices just to give Percy an idea of where things were, and behold, prices had dropped more than half! I called Percy, and he came right away. Twenty minutes later, we had purchased not one, but two giant pigs.

Percy and I have had a dream for nearly a year now of building a pig pen to house maybe four or five sows so that we could raise piggies to go to market. With the prices just right, and with Caleb excited to build a pig pen, we bought them. Caleb went in half on them, so it will be a joint venture.

But we had no good place to put the giant pair other than the only pig pen we have. That meant that our old pig, Miss Piggy, had to be staked out in the grass. She loved it! She had never been out of her pen in her nearly eleven months of life. She rooted around and grunted many happy pig songs of joy while soaking up the sun. But the dogs didn’t like it.

The dogs are pretty good about chasing the cows into the barn if they get out when they ought not, and they chase the neighbor’s pig away most times that she comes over. So, they tried to chase Miss Piggy back to her pen, but she couldn’t go because she was staked. I finally had Gog tied overnight so that he would quit barking at her. Since he’s the leader of our four dogs, the others soon lost heart in ever convincing Miss Piggy.

We let Gog loose the next day with strict instructions to leave Miss Piggy alone. He did fine until about 2:00 in the afternoon while everyone was napping, and I was working in the office on my sermon for today. He and the other dogs chased her round and round, nipping at her, until she suddenly fell down dead. Remember how I’d said she’d never been out of her pen before? That meant she’d never run before. Her little pig heart just couldn’t take it.

So, I called Percy and wished him a happy new year. Well, I’d already done that at chores that morning, but I explained the situation, and he said their family had left, so they would come help butcher. We decided to skin her, which saved a lot of time, but we still had a late evening. Caleb and I had been planting cypress trees the past two days, so I was already tired out from that–digging is hard here. With the butchering on top of everything, I was shot.

God bless Percy and Lucrecia for their help. They are such angels. After the meat was all ready for the freezer, they headed home. We shared a leg with them. Caleb and I went in and did up all the meat bits into ground pork that I then seasoned into sausage. Steph worked on getting everything else put away and cleaned up.

China was still dead, so she wasn’t any help, and Belinda was up working at their place. Speaking of China, she was dead today also until we made chicken strips for supper, then she somehow revived for just a bite before heading back to her tomb room. She’s very sick with a stomach flu. Some of the others are, too; Dane was up most of last night with tearful trips to the bathroom. I think most everyone was feeling improved today except for China who is waiting to get better until everyone else is. She doesn’t want to look proud by getting better too quickly.

So, we had one pig, then three pigs, then two pigs and nearly twenty pounds of sausage. That’s why I still haven’t caught up with an update. Maybe tomorrow.

P.S. Today is Steph’s birthday. I did not make her a cake, but I did mix up peppermint cocoa mix and made her a mug of it. (I also made a mug for me, but I needed to be sure it tasted good enough for her.)

Getting the price lower and lower
The new pigs
So happy!
Thrilled with scratches!
So dead!
The dogs are wondering why she died.
When we all work together…
Grinding meat
Seasoning the sausage
Enjoying the peppermint cocoa