Our farm is located in a small town (pop. 400) that essentially is a bedroom community. A bedroom community is best described as everyone works out of town. (This distinction will be important later in the story.)
My adventures are many on the farm and usually not funny at the time of any episode. It was a cold cloudy wet November day. Just a miserable drizzle of weeping rain and I was cozy in the house with the wood stove. My day started as normal as any other day, I sent all 3 kids to school, checked on all the animals and started on my sewing project. My view is of the pigpen. We had two pigs that were going to be butchered at the end of the month and they both were close to 400 pounds apiece. We had tried a new pen this year. We built the entire thing out of pallets on a downward slope so it would drain easily. And since in the past we had so many problems with the doors getting stuck in the mud we had no door at all. We figured we could just use the chainsaw to make a door when we were ready to load them on butchering day. Well with all the rain it was getting pretty soupy in the pen and the downward slope idea that sounded good 6 months ago was getting plugged up with mud from all the rain. So they were using more energy moving through that sloppy mess and they were hungry all the time. I heard plenty of squealing but as usual I was going to be feeding them at noontime and nothing out of the ordinary to hear their cries. I got up to find another spool of thread and I saw something run by my window.
“That’s weird”, I thought,
I must be imagining things and continued on with my work. Then I noticed the squealing just stopped and again I saw something flash by the window.
“Oh probably someone’s dog is on the loose.”
I better investigate just in case they will attack my turkeys that were in an outdoor pen. Well imagine my surprise it was one of my pigs. Great my husband is in New Jersey, the kids are at school and everyone is out of town working. (Bedroom community, remember?)
Okay calm down just get a bucket of grain and get the pig back to the pen.
Sounds like an easy task.
So I got some grain and my pig is in my garden eating my tomatoes in front of the house. I shake the bucket; the pig takes no notice of me,
Okay keep trying, so I am in the cold wet rain shaking a bucket of grain and the closer I get to the pig the further away it is getting from me. I hear a car slowing down and I look up and it is the Sheriff’s department. Great am I in trouble for a loose pig??
It was one of the deputy’s that lives here in town; she was on her lunch break.
“You are Mrs. King right??”
“Yes, I am”
“I wanted to ask you about raising pigs because I want to start one of my own”
“Well today really isn’t the best time, I have this one out and I need to get it back in the pen”
She laughed and said “well two people should be able to handle that”
Well we try cornering the pig and getting her to go to the back of the house where her pen is. Fine I see the hole she got out of and the other pig is still in the pen. I put a temporary fencing in front of the hole until I can get the other one close enough to shoo her in.
Both the deputy & I were running around the house in the bushes, wet and cold. Well the deputy thought if she removed the temporary fencing and dump a bunch of grain inside the pen the pig on the loose would just go right back in. At this point I would try anything; I was tired, soaked down to the bone and tired of chasing that stupid animal.
To my horror the second pig decided to take her chances on the outside and squeezed through the hole and was running with her friend. I just wanted to cry, now I have two pigs loose and they are ramming my turkey pen and going next door and rooting up the neighbor’s trees and eating the siding off his house. We chased them for another half hour. In the beginning I was friendly shaking the bucket of grain calling pig pig pig, now with clenched teeth, no bucket and thinking murderous thoughts and hollering PIG! PIG! PIG!
The deputy looked at her watch and said her lunch was over and my pigs stink, she isn’t going to bother raising pigs.
“WHAT” you’re not leaving me are you?? Don’t you have a tazer, tranquilizer gun or something??
She laughed and said “No”.
“What am I going to do if they get hit by a car??” I asked.
“Easy, just tell them that they are not your pigs,” she said
“Everyone in town knows they are my pigs, I am the only one that raises them”
Well she still left and I am watching my hard earned money walk up the road and out of sight. There goes our winter meat and any profit from selling the meat.
Well I needed to think of what to do and I saw someone walking down the road clapping there and the pigs were in front of him. My neighbor down the road saw them on his lawn and he chased them back my way. Good I thought he can help me get them back into the pen. Well John came and asked if I was having trouble.
“Yes” I don’t care what pen I get them into, either inside the barn or their old pen.
Well he helped me chase them for an hour and he was getting pretty darned tired of falling down on the slippery grass and going into the pucker bush and asked me if I was ready to butcher them. Thinking he meant in the future,
“Oh sure they will be going in a few weeks”
“No, I mean right now”
“What you mean right here, right this minute?”
“No I have no clue on how to do it and I don’t have any tools to cut all that meat.”
“Oh, well I don’t know how to either”
And as usual I watched him leave me there alone with my problem.
I was soaked and so upset. I went inside to try to figure something out. I had no clue what I was going to do, the kids wouldn’t be home for another 3 hours and people that work out of town would take another 5 hours.
I was no sooner inside and I see a truck pull in,
Great this is all I need a customer right now with all this mess going on now and I look horrible with my wet clothes and mud boots on and not smelly all that pretty.
I see a very elderly man jump out of his truck with his walking stick. I asked him if I could help him and he said someone called him and said I needed help with my pigs. I am really looking hard at him, he had to be in his 70′s easy, he had slippers on and an old clothesline string for a belt. This is all I need this guy slipping and falling down and breaking something. I didn’t need another problem on top of that.
No that’s OK I will just wait it out until the kids get home.
He asked where I want the pigs to go.
By now the barn was the only option, once in there I could easily get them into a pen.
He looks at me and tells me to go inside and make a cup of tea.
Go inside and make a cup of tea, I see my pigs eating the neighbor’s bushes and again said What??
You’re just going to be in the way; you need a cup of tea to calm down.
Fine, if this guy thinks he is so smart, he can chase after them all day.
I no sooner got onto the porch I watched him crack his walking stick on the pavement and sweetly say pig pig pig. The two pigs stopped in their tracks and looked at him. And he repeated the same thing again. Those two stupid pigs that I had been chasing for over 4 hours in the rain, looked at him and said “oh the look at the nice man, let’s see what he wants”.
This elderly man that looked so odd and out of place; he walked those two pigs right into the barn and closed the door.
I went out to the barn and asked him how he managed that.
“Oh you have to talk nice to the pigs”
“I did for at least 2 of the 4 hours I was chasing them”
He laughed, “I had pigs before and I have had to chase my share”
I wanted to cry; just the relief of the pigs being caught and the chase was finally over. Well you may as well come in for a cup of tea, you earned it.
Post time: 12-01-2017