Sometimes I feel like I’m one of those super heroes who never signed the consent form. As if someone dubbed me “The Farmer’s Super Wife” without doing a background check about my severe lack of confidence or know-how. When I’m on duty and the big crisis strikes, I have to figure something out, but I never feel very super. There’s a lot of pressure: innocent children and small animals depend on me to save the day. My most trusty weapon is a frantic phone call to my father-in-law, who usually saves the day for me. But sometimes, the crisis is time-sensitive and I’ve gotta muster up some way to rescue the helpless masses even though I’d rather hide in the pocket of my overalls.
When I do save the day, it’s never pretty. But it’s always surprising.
Last week, it happened like this:
Five adorable (adorable?) piggies had just arrived for a summer of fattening up. A new batch arrives every summer and we pull our well-loved copy of Charlotte’s Web off the shelf and read it under the lilac bush. This particular morning, we went up to the barn to get water for the chickens and say hello to the pigs before settling down for an afternoon read-aloud. While I filled the water, Lia and Malachi moseyed down to the pig stalls and immediately started screaming (perchance they learned it from me?). I looked up from the faucet and noticed that three of the pigs were sitting contentedly outside of their stall. They had escaped. They were as calm as calm could be, but I was thrown into a dither. There I was: in Farmer’s Super Wife mode without a pitch fork. I didn’t know what to do.
I swooped Kai up, knowing that a baby piglet can swallow a large toddler in one gulp (no?) and I opened the stall door nice and wide. Though my heart was pounding, I kept a calm, quivery voice and beckoned, “here, piggie piggie!” hoping they’d obey. They didn’t. The food trough was empty. No bait. “Here, piggie, piggie?” I tried again. And they got up! And started running down the hallway in the opposite direction. I knew I could not let them escape the barn. My super hero powers do not include “chases pig around countryside and wins“. So, I prayed. I really did. “Jesus, please lead them back into their stall.” I walked down the hallway – nice and slow so as not to spook them – and closed the barn door. As the pigs were following me up the hallway, the chickens somehow got loose through their door and started walking towards the pigs. Pigs and chickens do not have pretty meetings.
That’s when the super hero in me really broke loose. I quickly put the kids outside, telling Viv to keep an eye on the youngers. Then, I got a big snow shovel and scooped the chickens back outside, shutting the door behind them. (I was feeling the power.) THEN, I turned around with gusto to face those pigs. They took one look at me and they ran down the hallway, jumped into their stall, and lay down in the hay. I calmly walked down there, closed the stall door, hammered in extra reinforcement so that they’ll never get out again. I breathed a prayer of thankfulness, closed up the barn, gathered the children, spread a blanket on the green spring grass, and opened Charlotte’s Web to our next chapter. Then – get this – I read aloud, “Chapter 3: Escape”. We were on the very chapter where Wilbur escapes from his pen.
That’s how I know I must be a super hero of some crazy sort, because stuff like that only happens when somebody somewhere gave you a cape.
Enjoy your home,