I had an unexpected and rather delightful close encounter with a real, live, pink pig this morning.
For city folk such as me, that is an unusual event, and definitely worth blogging about.
In order to celebrate my new life as a freelance editor, proofreader, writer, photographer and generally creative individual, I took my Mum out for coffee to my absolutely favourite farmstall in the whole world, the Millstone Farm Stall in the Oude Molen Eco-Village on the outskirts of Pinelands.
While waiting for our capuccino and chococcino to be brought out to us, I spotted a pink pig contentedly snuffling among the rustic three-legged wooden tables and the wooden crates that are used as seats. Now this was a new sight indeed: usually, there are just loads of clucking chickens and assorted friendly dogs of indeterminate breed ambling around.
Intrigued, I asked Linda, the very friendly woman in charge here, whom it belonged to. Turns out, that someone had given it to the chef (Jochi). It had originally been named Babe, after the famous movie, but had now been rechristened Milly. Linda was concerned that the very friendly and curious Milly might roam a little too far – like through the gate that was occasionally left open – and out into the parking lot and the horse paddocks, so she kept a close eye on her.
The little children running hither and thither with the colourful plastic wheel barrows and sliding down the slide from the miniature wooden house under the watchful eyes of their mommies, trotted over to Milly from time to time, patting and stroking her, excitedly jabbering to themselves. It was probably the first time some of them had seen and touched a real, live pig.
Milly, completely unfazed by all this aandag, didn’t mind being the centre of attention: she continued foraging for edible grasses and occasionally paused, her head up, eyes closed and her cute little snout twitching, as though she was inhaling a particularly delightful fragrance.
When we left, I walked over to her. She stopped and looked up at me, her tail whizzing around in a circle. I held my hand close to her nose, and she snuffled against it for a moment, before rubbing her forehead against my hand. I gently scratched the top of her head, and she promptly flopped down on her side, streeeeeetching out her short legs with their perfect little trotters.
Her eyes closed with a sigh, as I scratched her sides and her bright pink tummy with its two neat rows of nipples with which she may one day perhaps suckle her own babies. I had never touched a pig before, and was surprised at how bristly her hair was along the back and sides – long white bristles, that lay almost flat.
As I scratched and patted her, talking to her affectionately, I swear that the side of her mouth curled up in a happy, blissed-out smile.