I dreamed of having pigs for a long, long time but in all honesty they were quickly turning into my biggest nightmare. They didn’t listen, I couldn’t herd them and I couldn’t catch them. From the first day we brought them home they escaped so we kept them penned up in our unfinished utility room. They were comfortable I guess, but I felt completely guilty. I’d told the guys I bought them from that they’d have plenty of grass and freedom to roam. Instead they were crammed together like something out of “Spirited Away”.
Norton went squealing one way and Midge the other. They sounded as though I was running slaughterhouse 5. What might have taken 2 minutes took me more than 40 to get them to go less than fifty feet. I called Tom crying.
One day, I bought ta bag of whole corn and gave the pigs a little bit before trying to lead them back to the house.
“Soooooweeee! Soooooweeee!” Squealed Norton.
Over time, we’d brought Midge and Norton out in the main yard with the baby gate, so everyone could get a good look at them. And they could get used to everyone else. Now, I figured it was about time to let them out for a real snout to snout meet and greet with the rest of the barnyard. Dean, Henry, Phoebe and I were on hand just in case something went awry. We were afraid our timid little swine might go squealing into the hills if one of the other animals charges them.
What I found were two extremely confident pigs who apparently had read Animal Farm and clearly felt all animals are equal – except for pigs who are entitled to be in charge. The entire barnyard was a gawk. Standing back they gave these swine a wide birth.
(Midge and Gnatalie have some girl time)
After that we let the pigs out for a little while each day. They got the hang of the routine pretty quickly and soon running ears flapping when they heard me call their names. I was enjoying the best of both worlds. The pigs were out in the yard by day and in the house at night. Until they decided they wanted to live in the barn with everyone else. And leave me behind.
As I left my babies in the barn for the first time I wondered if this was a bit how I would feel when Henry moved out.