A Show Quietly Stolen

On a sleepy autumn morning we've turned up at the farm. At the pigsty corner, in fact, for a *pig-nic* birthday celebration for granddaughter and daughter. And we're not too fussed about what we've dressed in nor how we look. For, as the name suggests, this also includes a celebration of the arrival of some piglets: nine of them. We go for a wander with the brood but the piglets and their mother are oblivious. While they get on with their business of uprooting earth and mud, we're sniffed at, grunted at and rubbed against. Wooah! Almost knocked over. Everything's fair game. We're nothing special. We might as well be moveable rubbing posts or just weird types of pigs as far as they're concerned. Engrossed in their earthen world of tree roots and mud they simply can't get enough of digging, chewing and chomping: squealing, salivating and sucking. Look out kids! Keep those fingers at the right angle so they don't get mistaken for a carrot. We humans are the incidental bloody things here: too clean, don't even smell interesting, un-chewable, can't even get down and get muddy! The day turns warm, sleepily warm. The pig mother falls asleep under a tree: the piglets next to her, half on top of each other. So black, shiny and smooth. Ears and tails flicking at flies. So contented there in the shade you could almost join them. It's like they're getting the best part of this day—quietly stealing the show, almost. But there's another act playing out. While we've been having our cake, eating it and singing happy birthdays, one of our number—not quite two years old—has found something far more interesting: the chickens. And she's tracking them—one in particular. And while we're busy with each other, it's done! In the blink of an eye the chook is in her arms, looking rather happy to be there. Two friends enjoying the moment, another piece of the show quietly stolen. And we're basking in it! What a pig-nic! So good to just be here, enjoying these stolen shows put on by performers who aren't even trying.

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