The combination of rain and freezing temperatures has made for incredibly dangerous driving over the past few days.
Until the sand trucks made their rounds, folks were sliding off the roads and into one another like Little League fielders converging on a ground ball.
But it isn’t just the roads that have been affected.
Driveways, paths, and sidewalks are treacherous booby traps awaiting their next, poorly shod victim.
And here, on the farm, no one is more poorly shod than Bubble and her three little pigs.
Ice is a cruel mistress when you are cloven-hooved.
When I went to feed the pigs tonight, I proceeded with extreme caution into their pen, careful not to slip on the hefty covering of ice between the feed buckets and water trough. I filled one bucket with food and Bubble promptly made her corpulent way over to it.
As I headed toward the second bucket, I watched two of the three smaller pigs attempt to join their mama. As they started across the ice, they immediately lost their footing and started wiping out.
One after another.
It reminded me of the giant banana peel scene in Woody Allen’s Sleeper, but I felt way too badly for them to find it nearly as funny.
I quickly pushed the remaining bucket over toward the shed where it would be on a bed of hay, providing traction for both feed bucket and feasters.
Once everyone was safely adhered to their respective surfaces, I went to enlist Dave’s help.
Even though they really seemed undaunted by the experience, it seemed cruel to leave them surrounded by a sea of ice.
Dave arrived with a metal tamper and a bale of hay like some winter farm version of George of the Jungle.
His animal friends were grateful.
Breaking up the ice first would (theoretically anyway) provide added grip, allowing our little pack of porkers to travel more freely from food to drink to shed. Over this, he distributed a generous bed of hay to give them a path of sorts.
They still struggled a bit on this new surface, but the dramatic wipe-outs stopped and everyone seemed more sure-footed and at ease.
Now, if only we can find a way to get the sand truck driver to make a quick detour through applewood farm…