A week before she is due to farrow, Esmeralda, a Saddleback sow, forages and carts a variety of objects to the cattle ramp where she builds a nest. The weather is changeable to the point of being extreme on each of the seven days leading up to the sow’s confinement.
To capture the essence of this picture book, the illustrations show the important extra threads of this story.
As well as the pig’s story it is also the children’s and their parents. The farmer has a farrowing pen ready but Esmeralda’s instinct determines she knows best. The farmer is busy and relies on his ever-vigilant children to interrupt their play activity to watch but not interfere with the pig.
And layered over this is a story of global warming, climate change and a penchant for surreal swine recycling as Esmeralda gathers and assembles her nesting material.
It could very well be a ‘Where’s Wally’ type nest.
But nature is timely and decrees that the hard rubbish is on the perimeter of the Esmeralda’s nest while the softer stuff is in the centre.