Updated: Apr 17
Last night it poured, great!
I was woken sometime after midnight by the sound of heavy rain crashing on to the roof. Desperate for rain, this sounded like the real thing, not those little showers of humidity we have had of late and elation was the initial response.
Okay, so I must be a truly sad soul to be relaying our night's rain to you, but in a drought-ridden part of Portugal rain is a big deal, bringing great joy and jubilation apart from, yes, you guessed it, worry about the piglets.
As I lay there listening to the raindrops landing above me I started to imagine rivers rushing through the cabana which only has hay on the floor and a tin roof. I visualised Mash gathering her brood and tiptoeing out into the rain like refugees as they fled to the brick-built pig house of Bangers and her babies.
In my mind’s eye, I could see Bangers leaping up in the dark and challenging the incoming troupe. Finally, realising who they were, she lay down again and the assembled piglets huddled together in the warmth of two big Mamas – or so I hoped.
But then my overactive imagination leapt to the idea that some of the piglets might be squashed in the mêlée of bodies! It was all I could do not to don my wellies and a hat before venturing out into the downpour to check all was well.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed as I told myself that they were perfectly well cared for and to stop being so stupid; at which point the rain stopped.
This morning dawned sunny with the heat burning off moisture from the trees, and plants as I hastened to see how everyone had fared.
There was no sound from the pig paddock, no sign of Bangers or Mash, my worst fears were beginning to re-surface, when a face covered in hay poked out from the cabana and Mash trotted over to wish me good morning and scoff the apple I gave her. Bangers was not long in arriving from her place of sleep and soon they were both tucking into their breakfast.
I snuck my nose into the cabana to see eight little piglets lying stretched out fast asleep in the sunshine, which reaches them first thing. Equally, as I investigated Bangers home, her six were snuggled up together enjoying a lie in.
I have a feeling it may have been a disturbed night for them with all that wind and rain, but whatever transpired they were comfortably sleeping off the effects quite happily this morning.