Pigs! Pigpigpig piggers! Here! They arrived Tuesday afternoon, when I left a relaxed husband at 4p for a meeting and returned a few hours later to find a haggard and somewhat disheveled husband and two wary young pigs. And what a shame I missed their actual arrival, because I do love a good epic.
The rough outline is that shortly after getting the pigs moved into their new home, they were accidentally cornered and they bolted through the electric fence. One was tackled about six feet into its life of freedom, but the other made a successful run for it. So Dean and the farmer who delivered them gave chase… up the hill, across the ravine, and through another fence into the neighbor’s (empty) horse pasture. From that point, Dean’s telling involves a lot of wind sprints up and down the hill of that pasture and a few fantastic dives. One of which involved a couple ribs landing on a ground-level rock. Well over an hour later, the two grown men managed to recapture and wrestle 50 pounds of pig back into the fence, but I’m not sure who “won” that contest.
I decided years ago that if we ever raised pigs they would be named “Kevin” and “Bacon”. I’m convinced Kevin is quicker and slightly redder and Bacon is just a bit rounder, because… bacon. But Dean argues that any creature that puts him through that ringer will be named after a tasty meat product.
So day one didn’t go quite as smoothly as we imagined… but day two? I was out early morning, greeted the pigs and fed them. Then Dean went by a couple hours later and couldn’t spy them. I wasn’t worried, their pen is anything but flat and open so hiding places abound, but took the excuse for a quick break to walk down and set our minds at ease. Of course, I walked the whole area and couldn’t rustle them out or hear a whisper of their near-constant grunting commentary. They are still pretty wary of us, so it just didn’t make sense that they didn’t stir. So… Dean and I set out in a wide circle, looking for any sight or sound of escaped pigs. We hiked up to the top of our property, back to the neighbor’s pasture, and through all sorts of brambles. In the rain, of course. After about half an hour, we admitted the futility of it and were passing their pen on our way back to the house. And on cue, Kevin and Bacon sauntered out from the center of a pile of blackberries and snorted at us.
So we’ve been outrun and outwitted. I’m sure it’s only the start. But we make a pretty mean slop, so I think we might have a fighting chance. And the fence has been reinforced.
(If they look a little different than you expected, it’s because they are Tamworths, a heritage breed that has reddish-brown hair. They’re very popular for being great foragers and well-suited to our weather.)
Oh yeah, we also got a box of 33 chirping fluffballs from the post office Monday morning. Best mail day of the year.