Episode 18: The Beginning of a New Season
Spring had finally come to Urd Village.
“It’s spring at last, Yamato-sama.”
“Yeah, the sun feels really warm.”
“Yes, spring weather at last! “
While happily looking all around, Liscia was walking by his side.
They were in the process of checking the condition on the fields and waterways to plan the next steps to take, as well as checking whether there were houses that got damaged during winter.
Urd village was located in the basin of a mountainous area, but since its humidity was low, it received less snowfall. Thanks to that, so far no noticeable damage due to snow could be seen, so Yamato felt relieved.
“Well, isn’t it young Liscia and Yamato-dono? Would you like to see the ‘babies’? “
As they were patrolling the village, one of the villagers called out to them.
“Should we go see them? Yamato-sama.”
“Sure, let’s go.”
Guided by the old woman, they went inside the building with the ‘babies’.
The cries of newly born babies had echoed inside this shed a couple days ago.
“Wow… they are really cute…”
“So there were ten in total. Its good considering this was the first time.”
Next to him, Liscia was looking at them with a charmed gaze.
In front of them, were a few lovely baby pigs. They numbered ten and were currently drinking breast milk from their mother inside this dim-lit livestock shed.
“Have you had any problem so far taking care of the pigs? ”
“Not at all, I’m used to handling livestock here after all, Yamato-dono.”
Just as she said, this old woman was skillfully taking care of the wild pigs. Besides pigs, they also used to take care of goats, horses and cows in the village before.
“If we catch more in the forest, we’ll make sure to bring them to you.”
“I have high expectations, Sage-dono.”
Leaving it to the old woman, they left the pig breeding hut and headed towards their next destination.
The anxiety about the successful breeding of the wild pigs was finally gone, and Yamato now felt relieved.
The number of pigs born seem to be the same in this world…
“Even so, to be able to capture those wild pigs, Yamato-sama sure is…”
“I wasn’t that big of a deal.”
“That’s not true, to be able to do so, as expected of Yamato-sama! “
Just as Liscia said, the pigs in the hut were previously captured in the forest just before winter arrived.
Their size and appearance were almost identical to those seen in Japan. And unlike the Wild Boars, their temper was more docile, so Yamato decided to try and keep them as livestock.
Over the course of a few days, several males and females were captured. And by borrowing the knowledge of the old woman, they were made to immediately breed.
Several of the females got safely pregnant and the first one recently gave birth to those ten piglets. And soon, another one should give birth to more piglets in a few more days.
The fertility of the pigs is truly amazing…
Pig’s high fertility was a well-known fact.
Their pregnancy period was shorter than that of people, and they could give birth in just four months. A female pig could produce up to thirty piglets every year since it could birth around ten at a time.
Furthermore, since the piglets born became fertile in just a few years, the pigs’ fertility was considered top notch among livestock.
“It’s good the pigs’ breeding seems to be going well.”
“Yes. I think that’s because pigs like those have been kept in the village before.”
Liscia said similar words to that of the old woman, that pigs and other livestock had already been taken care of in the village before.
The livestock was kept in that shed, and they were left out to forage for food in an area close to the forest.
It was a normal practice to kill many of the pigs and salt their meat after being fattened during summer, just before winter arrived.
As things stood now, it probably would take at least two more years to somewhat recover the pigs population. That was not counting any unexpected sickness, bad climate, or food issues.
Until that got back on track, they’ll have to keep hunting Big Rabbits and Wild Boars to compensate for the lack of meat. And since that also served as a valuable hunting experience for the kids, it would be like killing two birds with one stone.
“Those baby pigs were really cute, Yamato-sama.”
“Yeah, one could feel the miracle of life.”
“Ya-Yamato-sama… D-do you like babies…?”
While walking by his side, Liscia asked while stumbling on her words. She wanted to know what his opinion was regarding babies.
“Well, I think whether it’s a domesticated animal or a person, having lots of babies is a good thing.”
“M-me too! I think so too…”
Breeding livestock was important to provide meat for the village.
And a high birthrate was also indispensable to increase the prosperity of the village.
In modern Japan, the decline in population had become a big problem. And with the labor shortages and the declining of national strength, a positive birthrate was quite important to have.
“Hmm? What’s wrong Liscia-san. Your face is red.”
“Is the sun too hot? Should we go to the shade?”
“No… I’m fine, Yamato-sama. I’ll give it my best! “
“Hmm…? Its fine if you’re ok. Then, shall we go visit the paddy fields now?”
As they went around checking the state of the village, they then decided to head towards the just finished paddy field.
That paddy field was an abandoned land previously used to grow the wheat, and was reclaimed using the farm equipment Yamato devised, and remodeled to be used as a rice field.