Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Circle of life and our beloved fatso pig

We sat at the dinner table tonight with books and papers on labor and delivery. Seeing how Lovely may be with us during Little Bird's arrival, we wanted to help her understand the stages of labor and what would happen during delivery.

The basics were covered. The basics of labor and delivery and the basics of our plans. She asked a couple of questions, looked at a couple of the books with us, and we were done. If she thinks of anymore questions she said she would ask us later.

It was very cool to sit and discuss the beginning of life as a family. Birth. The arrival of Little Bird.

After the conversation, we cleaned up the kitchen and I took some laundry upstairs. Lovely was in her room changing the batteries in her Nintendo. I knocked on her door with some clean clothes for her to put away.

"I haven't checked the pig in a couple of mornings since you've been here. Is he doing okay?"

She said that she hadn't checked on him this morning either. We noticed his water was getting low, and I went over to get the bottle.

Hershey was laying in the back of his pen where his Timothy hay made both a bed and a feast for the fatso pig. His eyes were open, but he was very still.

A couple of days ago, Lovely and I had Hershey out for some guinea pig loving. I gently pointed out that the lump on the back of his neck had gotten significantly larger since the last time she was home. I said that I was worried Hershey wouldn't be with us much longer.

I didn't think that it was a matter of days.

Hershey is gone. He died in his favorite spot in his cavi condo. Guy said he had checked on him this morning and he was still with us. Sometime during the day, Hershey left this life. Only after eating 99% of the giant bed of hay though.

I cried more than anyone. I don't know why I loved that little pig. I've never been a rodent person. When he unexpectedly moved in here, from Lovely's mother's house, he squeaked his way right into my heart. He would rattle his cage and squeak at me as I worked on my sewing in the next room, as I changed Lovely's sheets, or put away towels in the linen closet.

"Get in here, woman, and give me some damn yogurt treats!"

He was a demanding little pig.

The setter loved him. Pupstar wanted to eat him. Gibson also drooled over him.

Lovely loved him. He was hers. He survived her parents' divorce with her and followed her into her new part-time home. Her father bought that pig for her, and she loved him.

I got a box, a funky hand towel with pom poms on the end of it, and Lovely suggested making a bed of hay for him. We did. Guy placed Hershey on his bed of hay one last time and wrapped the towel over him.

We said our words over Hershey's last resting place, wrote notes to him on the box, and said good bye.

Starting our night with birth. Ending our night with death.

It was a full evening.

We will miss you, fatso pig. You were much loved.