Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Pig's Bathroom

Ever since I have lived in Spain, I have been given many orphaned baby animals to raise. In this drawing are Mop-Mop the piglet and Arturo the baby donkey, each have their own interesting stories but the story of how the pig's bathroom came to be called just that, starts with Spanish plumbing.
In Spanish cortijos, if you were lucky enough to have indoor plumbing, it consisted of a toilet set over a hole in the floor and an open cement ditch that ran under the house to a pozo negro or black hole. After many years we finally discovered this original solution to waste disposal and decided to modernise by installing outdoor pipes and cutting off the ditches under the floor except for one interior bathroom that was unfortunately unreachable without taking out the bathroom, which, in the end, is what we did. We turned a huge marble bathroom into a half bath with sauna. Well, we had wanted the sauna but didn't have enough electricity so we ended up with a half bath and large cement floor with a drain in the middle. The birth of the 'Pig's Bathrom' came when a farmer handed me a day-old piglet to raise. She was pink and black and we called her Mop-Mop because that was the sound she made and you also had to follow her around the house with a mop mop. I turned the shower into a bed by filling it with straw and that is where she slept until she was old enough to join the larger animals. From that day until the present all baby animals are raised by starting out in the Pig's Bathroom, before graduating to the main house and associating with dogs and cats etc. The next step is to the bird sanctuary, which is a large fenced in area with housing and gardens. A safe and fun place for animals such as pigs and sheep to grow up before moving into the stables with adult animals, maybe even some of their own kind. Mop-Mop was just the first of a long line of animals to reside in the Pig's Bathroom. Before the birth of the Pig's Bathroom, the children would wake up to find a new born something-or-other in bed with them to stay warm until I could arrange appropriate food and lodging. On entering the house, Lenox would alway take a look at the door to the bathroom and if it had the latch on he would gasp "now what do we have"? They were wonderful times and even though we don't seem to be raising any babies lately it is still called the Pig's Bathroom.
Arturo, the baby donkey in the drawing, was given to me by a local T.V. station. We were at a horse auction and I saw a baby donkey but they wanted twenty-five thousand pesetas for him, which I didn't have. Someone else showed interest in the donkey but then I learned they wanted him for lunch so I began to cry. The T.V. crew was nearby and saw me. On hearing the sad tale of the donkey's future they said that they would buy him for me on the one condition than I named him Arturo. On asking why, they said it was the name of the local mayor that they hated because he was a jackass and they felt this a very appropriate donation to a worthy cause. It was also tax deductable because they gave him to ANIMO. Arturo lived in the petting zoo and later joined the forces of riding for the disabled and of course burro-baseball.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Although the idea of the "Pigs Bathroom" may sound odd, believe me, it's much better than waking up in middle of the night with a wet smelly baby sheep under your blankets and chewing on your hair!
I've been there, I'm the child that got all the baby animals in bed if they got cold...