I left the loaves cooling on the rack last night and caught the final bus south because Pjörk—the pink pig who lived for a few months in our yard with her black sister, Björk—was possibly farrowing. All the way through the Chuckanuts it poured. I watched bright trees blur outside my window and regretted my cotton bakery clothes. But as the bus rolled into the Skagit flats the sky lifted. I rode to the farm under high, scattering clouds.
I found Erik in the barn. Pjörk was restless, overturning cinder blocks, gnawing on boards, laying down and standing up and laying down again. We left for a time and when we came back her pen was empty. Under one hog panel gaped a two foot gap. She had nosed it up the t-posts and walked out. Erik found her wandering through the long cover crop and out into a newly tilled field. We herded her back, closed up the pen, and slid the barn door closed till a gap just wide enough for the barn swallows remained. Pjörk returned to overturning objects and laying, panting, in the straw.
In the end I went to bed. When I left to catch the first bus back north she was still on her side in a nest of straw, breathing hard, her teats so full of milk they looked painful. Sometime later today, perhaps, there will be a new pile of piglets for Erik to worry over and admire.
Owner | Baker