Back when I was a little girl and was given the task of taking out the kitchen slop (or “compost” if we’re sticking with nice terms) to the farm animals, I never would have guessed that as a thirty-something woman, wife, mom to five, and mompreneur, that this small, menial task would become a favorite~even one of the looked-forward to moments of my day! Because that’s exactly me these past several weeks! I think it can be logically explained though…without assuming that I have gone off the deep end. It’s probably has something to do with the constant chatter of little humans around me. Maybe even more, the constant use of technology and social media for communication and business. There’s something so wonderful about leaving the kitchen behind, walking out the door with my little boy in tow, and taking all the scraps from dinner out to those hungry ladies and boys. Everybody needs an escape, quiet moments in the day, right?….and why not escape to the pigs and the chickens!?
The chickens always arrive first. We call for them, and they seem to be most in-tune with their surroundings. They come clucking and picking daintily at the juicy scraps we’ve thrown on the ground. The beautiful rooster with his deep jewel tones, the less-colorful rooster that hatched from a nest full of eggs late last winter, and the hens who keep us supplied with dozens of brown speckled eggs. We lean in over the fence and watch them as they peck and scratch.
If they’re lucky, those chickens may get a few minutes to themselves, but usually, like clockwork, the big Idaho Pasture pigs come without invitation, grunting and barreling their way through to what is *obviously* a snack meant for them. The chickens scatter at first while the pigs eat like, well, pigs. The make all the undesirable noises as they slobber and slurp down everything in their path. The hens eventually settle back in among them, picking daintily at what’s left.
It’s prime teaching time for children of all sizes on why it’s better to be like a chicken than a pig when it comes to table manners and all types of relational interactions. Chamberlain and I watch till every piece is gone, and then the show is over. Everyone scatters off into the yard off to the shade of the trees, going back to whatever they were doing before we showed up. We amble back into the house, looking forward to tomorrow and this new-found task. It’s a simple, grounding, uncomplicated part of our day. And there you have it, for the first time in my life, though I was raised as a farm girl till I was ten, I’m officially loving the farm chore of taking out the slop. Funny how life often comes full-circle in the simplest ways.