I got back to the Barrier on Tuesday, after an unexpected trip to Town. While I helped a mate and got heaps done for myself in Auckland, I must admit that I still feel rather exhausted. We left on the barge on Sunday, got to Town at night, drove to Whangarei in two fully laden trucks. One was overheating, so the 3 hour trip took like 6. We unloaded the trucks on Monday morning, and I headed back to Auckland to get me some supplies.
To cut a longer story short, I got up at 5 o’clock on Tuesday and was back on the Island around 1300. The plan was to unload the truck, drop it off, hitch-hike back to my car, take the supplies up to my place, sort out when and where to pick up my dog and the little task of getting a pig onto my site.
The frequent showers of the past weeks have rendered the driveway a bit muddy and slippery, of course it rained while I was unloading etc. but nothing to worry about. After a few trips up and down, I had everything covered and started thinking of how to catch and transport a pig.
Hellmut, that’s not his real name, but I don’t care, is not afraid of dogs, humans and had been free-ranging on a small site. He’s not too big and all in all a good pig. He was in his extremely muddy pen when I arrived to pick him up.
The plan was simple: I had a sack, three pieces of rope, a bit of food and gum boots. Hellmut saw it coming though and screamed his lungs out even before I had a sling around his neck.
After mucking around for about 30 minutes, I had two slings around his neck and one around the leg. Finally, he was immobile and fell on his side, of course full of mud and shit by now. Unfortunately, he was also suffocating and it was a major to loosen the slings, due to cheap, elastic rope and wet knots.
I managed to drag him out of the pen, half deaf on one ear. Man can pigs scream. I was so sure that someone will call in soon as it sounded like a I was murdering a young girl. It didn’t help that the guard dog, tied up to a chain, was barking the entire time as well.
So yeah, I was not enjoying the stereo concerto of deep, wild barking and high-pitched screaming. When the dog broke the chain and added to the turbulence, I thought of just sticking the pig here and then, but finally managed a way to get him into the trunk without it causing havoc.
Oh yeah, it was of course raining. I raced up to my place, pulled it out onto the ground and because Hellmut did not listen to my reassuring words and par-tout did not want to walk or being pulled or pushed, I had to drag him about 70 meters to his new pen on his belly, with all four extremities flat on the ground. At this moment, I praised the rain, at least the soil was wet and slippery and I could drag him easily.
After I took those nooses off him, he finally calmed down and I gave him water and a big feed.
He’s been plenty of work since then, but I managed today to build him a feeder and drinker that he can’t flip, break or otherwise render useless. Since then, Hellmut has been eating, drinking, pissing, shitting, sleeping and trying to find a way to break free. So yeah, I’m keeping an eye on him and plan to let him out of the pen this weekend so he can have a wander around and eat grass and leaves.
In a month or so, I plan to kill and butcher him. So yeah, stay tuned as I’m sure this part will also be interesting.
In other news, the chooks are laying eggs and I’ve got HEAPS to do… This weekend I have to kill two of my roosters, start raising seedlings for the spring, dig the gardens up and fence them as I’ve seen a few rabbits hopping around…
So yeah, why not come over and give Ben a hand, you’ll get a chance to ride Hellmut the Pig as well…