Have you ever studied a pig in its natural habitat?
The one you see here, Abbie "Frumpy" Christopher, was raised for meat on a beautiful and loving farm in Eastern Arkansas where I volunteered. My dear friend Maggie Rawling-Endlicott and I saved him and moved him to the Pig Preserve in Eastern Tennessee in December of 2014. Here he is in his first hour as a free agent, in a rather large enclosure that leads out to 100 acres of forested wilderness.
I thought of him, as I do every time I enter my enclosure on Belvedere but particularly yesterday when I entered and discovered exuberance within my confines.
When AFC first arrived, the first thing he did was check his perimeters.
I did that. It felt right.
The next thing he did was make himself known. Snort. Stare. Paw. Excavate. Investigate.
I did that too. It felt... useful. Nutritious. I did some high kicks, and paraded around on all fours. I rested, and I galloped, and I looked deeply at the two and a half nests over my head and the small buds daring to emerge from the Magnolia Stellata that serves as my tangled entry point.
Then he got interested in who else was there. Had a couple of tousles, greetings, exchanges, and met gazes.
Well, I did that too. It was harder. That whole 'road-show clown' complex that currently plagues me with self-consciousness. To be fair, I was inside. Absolutely everyone else was outside (my enclosure.) They weren't peers. I was the one in a box.
I'm so happy for Abbie Frumpy Christopher. As for me, I have work yet to be done.