When I was a kid, my sisters and I would beg my Dad to play “stuck in the mud” with us. It was a game he made up in which he would lay in the middle of our living room floor while we kids ran around him and tried to cross over him. If we got too close, he would grab an ankle, hand, or whatever he could and hold us there. It was then the other siblings' responsibility to try to free the captive from the “mud”. We would pull, push, try to distract, anything to get each other out (Sorry, Sarah, for that whole shoulder dislocation incident). It was loads of fun and we would be rolling in laughter at some of the positions we would get stuck in.
This morning I was stuck in the mud, for real, and there were no sisters to free me. With the deluge of rain lately, the entire field where the pigs are kept is nothing but deep mud and standing water. The poor pigs were up to their bellies wading through the muck to get to their feed trough. To the pigs dismay and mine, the trough was tipped and half full of frozen mud this morning. You can imagine the enjoyable experience I had trying to pick my way through the sloppy mess to bust out the frozen mud in the feed trough. As I was walking back out of the pen, I could feel the force of the mud sucking my feet down, grabbing ankles, anything to hold me there. Without someone to push, pull or distract the mud from grabbing me, I struggled to keep moving. Then, disaster struck.
In a particularly deep and wet section my left foot went down until the mud was millimeters from going over the top of my boot. I froze in place for just a second while this was happening. It was just enough time for the mud to tighten it’s grip and not let go. As would often happen while playing “stuck in the mud” with dad, my foot came out of the mud but the boot stayed put. I forgot to mention that I was carrying one of the troughs back with me and that extra bulky weight was enough to carry my momentum forward without my boot attached. Naturally, to avoid falling completely in the mud, I had to step my socked foot down 8 inches into it. The mud finally got me.
What’s worse than having your foot soaked and muddy is having to put that foot right back into your boot once you’ve freed it. Here’s a tip if this ever happens to you; take your sock off before replacing your foot into the boot. Learned this one the hard way… I finished out morning chores wet and muddy, grabbing a bunch of extra straw for the poor piggers to get them off of the mud at least while they sleep.
Being stuck in the mud this morning wasn’t nearly as much fun as when I was a kid, but it did bring back some great memories. If the rain continues like this, I’ll need to find some waders or some sisters in a hurry!