Of Errant Pigs and the Price of Freedom
The strangest thing happened to me the other day, as I was walking Dozer up to the top of the driveway. As I gazed over at Casey's three pigs, chilling inside their movable pen, I saw five pigs instead of the usual three. The two additional members of the scene had similarly colored hides as our biggest pig, but the hair on the new members was longer.
When I saw Casey a while later, while heading up to Blue Rock with Annie on our morning walk, I asked him about the addition of the two new hogs to HappyDay Farms. He stared at me blankly and said, “What two new hogs?” Feeling a tad nervous at this point in the game, I led him over to the pen, where there were but the original three pigs awaiting our curiosity.
I didn’t know what to say. Had I imagined the other two pigs, or was this just a sign that I needed to lay off the good drugs, so early in the morning? “My bad,” was all I could say, because what else was there?
So when I took Dozer past the pen yesterday morning, and I could not see any pigs, anywhere, I assumed they were there and I was just experiencing my usual difficulty with reality. Therefore, a half-hour later, when I was walking with Casey towards the pigpen, and the pigs were genuinely missing, I didn’t know what to think.
“Listen,” I said to Casey. “Annie and I will continue our walk up to Blue Rock, and if we see them, we will call you and tell you to bring Clancy [the farm Australian shepherd] and we’ll round them up.”
Sure enough, only ten minutes into our walk, before we even got to Sparky’s site, Annie suggested that we might have better luck if we stopped talking and listened for them. Almost immediately her suggestion paid off, and we heard them grunting away happily, as they lounged around in a large patch of spring grass, which provided some cool mud in which to wallow. We called Casey, told him we would prevent the hogs from wandering, and he should bring Clancy.
It turned out that Casey had high-tailed it down to the new pond, thinking that the pigs were heading in that direction, so it was Amber instead, who arrived. She had a five gallon bucket in hand, partially filled with grain, their favorite food, and as she came up to them, shaking the bucket rhythmically, they happily approached her and followed her back to where they needed to be.
That was not the end of the pig adventures yesterday morning, because when Annie left to return to Willits, she saw that they had escaped again, and were in the garden, having a feast. It turns out that the electrical fence is no longer a deterrent, so Casey went back to the original fencing method.
In all of this excitement over the antics of the pigs, it has been suggested that wild pigs may have had a hand [hoof?] in all of this, and it has been further suggested that I was not hallucinating the morning I saw the five pigs. I did not think at the time, to verify that all five pigs were inside the single strand of wire which encircles the pen. Therefore, It’s remotely possible that I am still in possession of my faculties, as fragmented as they may be at times.
Cavorting pigs do not understand the nature of cause and effect, and therefore will not see the connection between their flights of freedom, and the decision that the time has arrived for the inevitable transition from outdoor pen to indoor freezer. The irony of it all.
We, who do understand the connection, look forward to that which will grace our tables in the immediate future. BLTA’s for lunch, anyone?