This is in reference to my work-in-progress novel Zootaloot. If you would like to read it, you may click the link above.
I have a lot of little scenes in my head of Tana’s childhood. And so I have a scene here of she and her cousins playing with Borussa the pig. As usual, I put my notes in brackets for later reference. I’m not yet sure what to name one of the characters, Joruun or Ingred. I think Joruun, because she will end up a major-minor character who loves her horse.
When Tana was five, in early spring, Artur’s sister Boudicca had come to visit from the north, and brought her husband Bjorn, and her two children Jorunn [Ingred – meaning Beautiful Goddess, or Jorunn – meaning lover of horses] and Kustaa [ staff of the gods]. Joruun and Kustaa were fraternal twins only a year younger than Tana. Both had their father’s freckled complexion and red hair, but they smiled like their mother.
It was the first time Tana met her cousins. While the adults relaxed outside around a table playing cards, and drinking tea, and eating biscuits, the children sat in the grass with Borussa. They pet him, and gave him kisses.
“What a big pig,” said Kustaa, who pat the great fighting boar on his hairy back.
“He’s the biggest pig,” said Tana, who kissed the boar on the snout. “And you can give him zoots too.” With that all three tried to blow zoots on him, but he had too much hair.
“Roll over, Borussa,” said Joruun.
“I don’t want to,” said the pig, but the two haired children only heard a grunt. In truth he didn’t mind it, but he wanted to be difficult. Tana saw his eyes light up slightly, and knew he was playing hard to get.
“Let’s push him over,” Said Kustaa, who put both of his little hands on one side, and the other two joined him. The adults saw this and pointed, and chuckled to their selves over three small children trying to roll over such a large beast.
Borussa played along, however, and slowly gave way. “Keep pushing!” shouted Tana, her back to the pig, and straiting her legs. Borussa then rolled over onto his side, and the three children cheered, and the adults all clapped.
“Quick, get his belly!” shouted Tana, and the three got down onto the pigs bare belly, and blew zoots, and the pig squealed, “No, not my fat belly! You mustn’t!” But in reality he liked zoots, and he liked playing with children. So he let them zoot his belly until it tickled beyond his ability to bear it, and rolled away onto his other side.
The three children with grass stained knees all whined “Awww…” and then Tana said, “Hey, I’ll race you to the barn!” And the other two thought this was a good idea, and they all took off running and giggling like innocent children, because they were.
Borussa got back on his feet and trotted after them, happy to keep a watchful eye on the children.