Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pigs and Chickens (2nd June 2014)

We met on the Green and played a new game: Run Rabbit Run. Half the group were foxes and half rabbits with one 'Captain Rabbit' and one 'Fox Leader'. The rabbits all started at 'home' at one end of the Green then Captain Rabbit took his rabbits out in a line for a walk. At a certain point Fox Leader shouted 'Run Rabbit Run' and the rabbits all had to try to get home without being caught. All tagged rabbits became foxes and we continued until there were no rabbits left.

Then we had snacks (top of the range custard creams and water) in a quick circle and agreed on some helpful ways to behave during our visit because this was the day the kind people at Jacob's Inn, Wolvercote had said we could come and meet their pigs and chickens - and do some life sculpting in clay.

When we got there Johnny Pugsley met us and introduced a pair of piebald pigs. 

He told us that they feed them vegetable and fruit peelings (but not leftovers) and keep them for about eighteen months. Then the Elfins all suggested why people keep pigs: for eating as pork, ham and bacon or made into sausages and salami. We didn't get round to talking about the fact that some people don't eat pigs - or, in fact, that some people don't eat meat at all (like Tei!). We'll come back to that another day.

Meanwhile, the Elfins had a go at feeding the pigs with cabbage leaves and carrot gratings and they enthusiastically snuffled everything up (the pigs that is...). 

Johnny told us they collect 10 eggs a day - 1 from each hen - but nowhere near enough for all the food they make in the restaurant - so they box them and sell them instead. 

The Elfins decided to give the pigs names and then chose whether to model Tweedledee or Tweedledum or one of the fluffy brown, white and speckled hens.

I don't know why but Elfins and clay just seem to go together. 

There was (almost) silent concentration for the rest of our time as clay sausages were rolled into trotters and tails - and balls smoothed into heads and bodies - or squashed to make ears, beaks and snouts.

When Johnny arrived cradling a calm, contented, occasionally clucking chicken under his arm it only raised a 'Hallo Hen' from a few Elfins before they returned to their masterworks - so engrossed were they...

…and modelling continued until the last available moment. 

So there was no time to end on a song - just a very big THANK YOU.

Session Leaders: Amanda/Alison
Leaders: Catrin, Lucy
Helpers: Stephanie, Chris, Nicholas

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