We are currently on a savings drive to get Gunther a crush so we can have him neutered then the girl piggy that is waiting to come to Wanderosa farm can come and live with us. However nothing ever runs to plan around here really. I was looking at the pages I have subscribed to in Facebook and came across a post of some horses that needed a home. The was a lot that needed a home so I thought if we got a couple they could keep each other company the bonus would be they could eat all of the lovely grass we have in the paddocks around here.
Before speaking with Dirk, I posted that we could take a couple at Wanderosa and the lady said when could they could deliver and where are we; so I set up a group chat that included Dirk and we sorted out the details. I said to Dirk that I was giving him some horses for his birthday; when he was a kid they lived on a farm and he had a couple of horses so he was pretty happy with the whole idea. We each had expectations in our minds of what it would be like to have these two ex-paces come and live with us.
We talked about fences that would need to be built to keep them out of the garden beds and also the pigs need a new enclosure for when they all live together. With this in mind Dirk set off to Maddington to buy fencing equipment and I wondered how we would manage to pay for all of this. I should stop looking at animal pages as I just can’t say no to help them. It will all work out I’m sure.
Over the next couple of days we spoke over messenger to the lady that was organizing the rehoming of the horses; we talked about the sex, health and condition and when delivery was likely. After a couple of false starts a delivery for Friday was locked in. When I got the call at work that they would be there in three hours, I dropped tools and raced to the farm to await the arrival. I beat the horses to the farm and Dirk met me with a bucket of carrots. We both had expectations that they would be taken from the float we would give them some carrots and a pat and bond with them.
This of course was not how it went down, the man got them off the float and as they towered over me he said how calm and stress free they are, which did look to be true. He said that they were boys that didn’t have names but their mother was Mrs. Jeffries and they were 5 and 4 respective. It’s pretty sad that you could get to be 5 and 4 and nobody has taken the time to name them, but I guess in an industry that only wants winners there probably is no time for things like that.
I handed the smaller of the two a carrot he looked down at me like I had just handed him a small alien that he didn’t know what to do with and definitely not be putting into his mouth. So I stood there awkwardly waving the carrot around feeling like a complete idiot wondering what I had got us into. We were then told they had never eaten a carrot or apple before, so much for treats then to win them over. Really how can this be?
He then took off both halters and said to me ,”Here you go you can have this one just encase you need it.” The horses looked at us, and then walked away before we had a chance to even pat them. They saw the pig pen just at that moment the man said they have never seen a pig before. Gunther moved they shat themselves and took off past the house, water tank and away they went. So much for bonding I wondered how they would find their way back to the water tank we had installed for them. Dirk said don’t worry they can smell water it will be fine.
That definitely wasn’t how we had planned it.
Saturday was hot, I mean really hot, the kind of hot that hurts when you breathe it in. About mid morning we decided that we should try to get the horses to the water tank as we had sorted out everybody else. Off we set in the Landrover around the fire break; we had gone about 1.5 kilometers around the farm when Dirk said, “Gunther is following us.” to which I replied, “WHAT!!!” We stopped the truck and sure enough the 100 or so kilogram pig had gotten out of his paddock and decided he would follow us. As he came towards us he sounded like I do if I ever do any cardio. We needed to take him back and the only way was the way we had come getting him the truck was out of the question. So we jumped back in the truck did a U-turn and slowly made our way back hoping he would be okay. A little while into this I decided that I would walk with him, it seemed mean to make him trot behind the car. I asked Dirk to go get him some water as he seemed to be struggling a bit.
Dirk left to get the water as I walk with Gunther, I encouraged him like personal trainers have encouraged me in the past we wandered from shade to shade spot I wasn’t sure if he would make it back to his paddock or not. I talked to him about his life choices and how this wasn’t a wise one. When Dirk returned back to us he watered Gunther down using a watering can and gave him a drink using a container the size of a cat litter tray. No sooner it was on the ground Gunther tried to wallow in it. Again bad choices were being made by this pig.
I said to Dirk we needed more water so off he went to get more water, he is a good man. I let Gunther rest a little but when he stood up we started on a slower walk towards home, he was not happy. Time seemed to go slow to a crawl but I’m sure Dirk was only gone for 10 minutes or so.. We had made our way to a part of the fire break that doesn’t have any shade, Gunther was struggling and I was using all my skills as a life coach (I’m not really a life coach) to get him to continue his epic journey. A ocassional apple made this easier. It’s very interesting what I carry in my pockets these days. Dirk in his brilliance he had brought Gunther a towel that was wet we placed it on his back like a cape, if only now he could fly.
Right at this moment we looked at each other and I think it was me that said “I hope none of our neighbours drive by or they will think we have gone mad.” They probably already do but that’s a completely different story.
As Gunther sucked on the end of the watering can quenching his thirst, Dirk said for me to walk him through the middle of the paddock to get back to his home paddock. Which is all well and good but the grass is as high as I’m tall. (Now that’s really not that high but still not happy!) Never mind this intrepid adventurer was prepared with steel cap boots and jeans and a straw hat nothing could go wrong. So with and encouraging word to Gunther I headed off into the grass, he followed along about three paces behind me which is kind of freaky as I that day I had the horror movie Razor Back running through my mind, but anyway my imagination does run away with me. To my defence he does walk so quietly through the grass compared to my stomping around in steel caps.
In the middle of this paddock is a salt patch which is very boggy, one time a truck with two trailers filled with sand got bogged. The driver who knows the area thought he would take a short cut well eight hours later we got him out but not all the sand. Gunther saw this patch of lovely boggy ground and dropped and rolled like he was on fire. I thought I would help him out and grabbed great clumps of mud and smeared them on the parts he just can’t get himself. Not not there! A little triangle on his back and behind his ears. I left him there and waited for him to come in for a drink.
Oh right back to the horses we needed to get them to water. During all this time the horses had not moved from a large tree that was providing them shade they must have been thirsty. We got a 20 litre container and an old esky and decided that we would take them some water because we didn’t think we would have much success at catching them.
Back in the truck and making sure that the marathon pig wasn’t coming we set off on mission “Get horses some water”. We got close to the tree they moved away so we took the esky out and Dirk made a dramatic show of pouring water into to it making sure that they heard. We backed away and the two boys came suspiciously up to the esky once they had worked out it was safe they hoovered up the water in a matter of seconds. We had also put some Kool and Kind down and they really like those, this we could use to our advantage. We congratulated ourselves on a small success but wondered how we would get them to come up to the tank.
I message the people we got them from asking what we should do and all she said was they can smell water they are probably sneaking up to the tank and we hadn’t noticed. We checked, no hoof prints I wondered if they were they were using ninja techniques to get to it.
Sunday was going to be even hotter so we discussed ways to entice them to take a look at the water tank and decided that the method we were using would just have to do so we took the esky and water a little further away from the horses but closer to the tank. The horses watch our dramatic pour but didn’t come any closer we left a pile of food also, so we let them too it and got on to making sure that all the other animals would survive the day. Gunther was made a pen that encompassed the dam and I dubbed it Gunther’s Day Spa as he still has his pen in the other paddock. Little pigs wallow and pool filled, chickens given extra water and watermelon distributed the heat of the day to help keep everyone cool. A total fire ban was issued so we couldn’t use the truck to check on the horses until it was lifted at 5:30pm so we waited out the heat in the house hoping that everybody would be okay.
While contemplating my navel in the heat of the day I thought we should hook up the trailer to the truck and put the esky in the back with me holding it like some hero and we would drive up to the water tank with the horses following behind and saving the day. Dirk only half listen to my brilliant plan and agreed that we should put the trailer on the truck and see if they would follow. More water was collected and we drove to the spot we had drop the esky in the morning and nothing was touch those poor things hadn’t had a drop to drink all day. We placed the esky and food in the trailer and hoped back in to go over to them.
They were certainly interested in us when we stop near them. They immediately came up and investigated the truck and trailer saw the water and made a bee line for it. In a couple of seconds 20 litres was gone. They had a bit of a nibble on the food. Dirk poured in the container of water and before we had hoped back into the truck most of it was gone. But not to be deterred we drove of slowly they followed us for a while but lost interested. This was going to take bloody forever to get these horses to water. I thought this was supposed to be the easy bit.
As we discussed our next more Dirk thought that if he parked the truck and trailer near the tank the horses would be able to see it from a distance and might be inquisitive enough to come and check it out and maybe work out that the tank next to the truck had in fact water in it. Not just some beige art installation in the paddock.
Monday morning I leave at 6am to drive into the city to go to work for the week, not my most favourite time of the week but you have to do it to pay the bills so it is what it is. I normally call Dirk using my hands free just as I get into the city to say that I arrived okay and no animals attempted to kill themselves by diving under my car, he told me that the horses had in fact worked out that the beige tank held water and they could come up and drink it at any time. Hallelujah!
It’s funny how a small thing can make you so happy. Now we could start to get to know the horses and them us.