The Softer Crofter – a boisterous breakfast time

Deceptively cute baby boar

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I should be careful what I wish for. Our gang of baby boar and toddler Tamworths are not as stand-offish as they appeared during their first day here on the croft.

On their second day with us I sat, friendless and needy, on a dryish patch in their paddock. That was all it took.

Rather than being just a pair of stomping, burst wellies, I’d come down to snout-level and could be thoroughly sniffed, nuzzled and nipped.

Delighted to be one of the gang, I maybe slightly misjudged the vibe, not realising my initiation would involve bloodshed.

We are, of course, bringing them up veggie, so I’m glad to say the bloodletting didn’t involve our organically-bred weaners tasting flesh for the first time. They nibble at boots, sleeves and zips, but have yet to break skin.

The bleeding was pretty much my own fault. Crouching to turn over a trough that had mysteriously travelled the length of their wee woodland and been upended in the process, I heard the stampede before I saw them: fourteen squealing pigs running straight for me.

We should get this lot trained up for Murrayfield. I don’t know whether to describe it as a ruck or a maul, but it was certainly effective in taking me out the game.

For obvious reasons rugby matches are played on nice soft grass and, unlike our piggy paddock, not encircled with a thin line of barbed wire.

There was actually no pain, so sharp are the wee barbs the pigs shoved me on to, just a sudden wet warmth on my shoulder and a soaking hand.

Pulling my jacket – and flesh – off the fence, I explained to my new pals that breakfast would be slightly delayed and made my way to the bathroom and into the shower which quickly resembled the famous scene from Psycho.

The puncture wounds looked clean, however, so I taped myself up and resumed the breakfast service.

It was only later in the day when I consulted Doctor Google that I realised I should maybe think a bit more about the holes in my shoulder and arm.

The risk, I read, of contracting tetanus from a puncture wound isn’t that high unless there’s any soil or livestock about.

A quick call to the lovely people at the local surgery confirmed that a booster vaccine would be wise unless I had travelled somewhere fab and tropical recently.

While day-trips along Loch Fyne can seem quite exotic and have served us very well over the last wee while, I don’t think Tayvallich to Tarbert counts as foreign travel.

But now, having popped into the medical centre for my third jag in recent months, I should be all set to head somewhere exciting as soon as restrictions allow.

Just the small issue of what to do with my enthusiastic new pals if I were to leave the country.

Hopefully my lovely neighbours won’t be reading this and will happily volunteer to do the breakfast shift.

Or perhaps normal people are perfectly capable of maintaining a professional relationship with livestock and will thus avoid being impaled to a fence.