Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Will Never Happen Again!

I know the rule is never say never, BUT, I'm quite confident that this particular event will never happen again. In fact, I'm quite surprised that it even happened at all! So, what is this momentous, once-in-a-lifetime  event, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.

Back story:
Hubby and I have a little six acre mini-farm.  We are raising our own beef, and chickens, (for the eggs), and now we have added pigs to our little e-i-e-i-o farm.  Two nights ago, we picked up two Berkshire feeder pigs.  By definition, a feeder pig is generally 40 to 50 pounds.  When we arrived at the farm, the farmer was plowing his field. He jumped off his tractor, greeted us, then pointed out the direction to drive. We offered to give him a ride on the tailgate of the truck, but he declined, saying he had been sitting on the tractor all day, and he would just meet us there. By the time we arrived at the barn, I turned to see four more people following him, which turned out to be his wife and three daughters.  We picked out the two pigs we wanted, and the girls grabbed them and put them in our make-shift pig transporting cage.  Hubby joked about making it out of pallets, but the farmer just replied, "Hey, that works just fine". Later, I noticed that he had done the same thing with his pallets. Great minds!
Wood pallet pig transporter cage

 We got to talking to him, and were happy to discover that he farms by the Joel Salatin method. He then gave us a quick little tour of his farm and showed us the turkeys his daughter is raising. One daughter is studying to be a herbalist, another daughter is working on breeding Heritage breeds, especially chickens and turkeys.  (Not sure about the third daughter.)  Anyway, he showed us the turkeys. Red Bourbon turkeys.  I'm not a huge turkey fan, especially eating, and I've not paid too much attention to the different kinds of turkeys, but, let me tell you, the Red Bourbon male is one beautiful bird!  I wished I had my camera with me, but then again, I wasn't sure if they would want me to take its picture.  But, I couldn't take me eyes off of it.  I told  Hubby that I would like to have one of those around just to look at it.

So, after our nice visit, (He even offered to help us when butchering time comes around, yes, we plan to eat our pigs), we left with our two pigs, and more knowledge.

When we got home, we drove them into the front pasture, with the intention of keeping them separate from the cows and chickens, for now.  First, we gave them their little earrings, then we set them down out of the truck.    Piggy Number 1, who shall be named Bacon, hightailed it to the back corner of the field, with Piggy Number 2, who shall be named Porky, close behind him.  The cows quickly came running down to see what all the ruckus was about, and they had some cute moments getting to know each other. The pigs continued running the fence line back and forth, together (key word), saying "hi" to the cows, then running away from them. The chickens were unimpressed.  We made sure they had bedding, feed, and water, then said "goodnight" while they continued snorting and grunting around.  All was well.
Pigs have about two weeks of cuteness in their lives

Look at those cute little tails!

Who are those intruders??
A bit blurry, but wearing their earrings

So far, no disaster, which is a bit miraculous.

The next morning, Saturday, began at the ridiculously early hour of 5:30.  Ugh. I know! But, we've kinda gotten used to that early hour.  Maybe because we're usually in bed by 9:30.  It's a vicious cycle.

We had two more pigs to pick up from someone else.  These pigs are mule hoofs, another Heritage breed.  Hubby left by 6:30 to go get those little piggies. This time I stayed home because I had to leave for work by 9:00.  Remember my definition of feeder pigs?  Yeah, well, these little piggies are no where near that weight. They truly are little piggies, maybe, 20 pounds. Tiny.  (But, cute.)  Hubby was back home by 7:30 a bit irritated disappointed that the pigs were so small. Not only will it take longer to reach the desired weight of about 300 pounds, but we weren't entirely confidant that our fencing, which was designed for larger animals, would keep them in.. We also decided to wait till they grew a little before they got their earring, which was about the same size as their ears.  Did I mention that they are cute?
Trouble is coming...
I grabbed one, which was an armful of squealy, squirmy bundle of pork.  I put him down, and he took off running. Fast. Hubby put the second one down, and he took off running in the opposite direction. Fast. They did not stick together at all! We watched them for a few minutes, admiring how cute they were, then it was time for Hubby to drive out of the pasture.

 I am the official gate opener/closer, whichever is needed at the time.  As Hubby drove towards the gate, I ran to open it, keeping an eye on the one pig that was closer to the gate than I wanted him to be, but I did not think it would be a problem.  I thought wrong. (Here is where the disaster part kicks in, just in case you were wondering.)

The next thing I knew, that little oinker  had made a bee line through the gate at 80 miles an hour. The last thing I heard was Hubby yelling, "How could you let that pig get out?"  Umm, he's faster than I am, and I wasn't expecting him to make a run for it?  No, I did not say that.  I don't think I said anything.  Apparently, I did a funny little dance, then just took off running after that dumb idiot.  He ran through our property lickety-split, then through the neighbor's corn field.  Beyond the cornfield is a little woods, which I think he managed to veer around, then into a field of clover, which was about 24 inches high.  Little Oinker is about 12 inches high. You see my problem?  I kept envisioning my bacon running away, and Hubby killing me if that happened.  Hubby saw a 100 dollar bill with wings on it. Not sure if he was envisioning killing me.  I didn't ask.

Now, allow me to pause here, just to make this long story a little bit longer.  I'm nearly 60 years old, and I haven't run since I gave birth to my last child 30-ish years ago.  I've tried to run from time to time, but, well, I have this little embarrassing problem. I'm sure you can guess what it is. Don't make me say it!

So, I'm running like a madwoman, after this pig. No time to be embarrassed. No time to be vain. Meanwhile, my dignity is dribbling down my leg. I'm focused. Eyes on the pig. Eyes on the pig. I don't know what happened to Hubby, but suddenly I see him out of the corner of my eye.  He's been behind me all the time.  As the little escapee turns toward Hubby, Hubby tries to corral him back towards me. He's getting closer and closer, and I suddenly realize what I must do. I must hurl my poor, old body down on top of this pig. I've never been able to comprehend the idea of tackling in football, or sliding in baseball. How do you just make yourself hit the ground?  I don't get it.  But, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that is what I had to do. (And, here is the "this will never happen again" part.) So, I took a flying leap, didn't even have time to pray for a safe landing, and landed right on top of that football sized pig.  I didn't stop to think of the possibility that I might have squashed it to death.  I held onto that little trouble maker until Hubby came up to me, and grabbed him. Disaster was averted. My life would be spared. I had redeemed myself.

More than one person, okay, everyone who has heard this story, has expressed that they would love to see that on video.  I am not among them. In my mind's eye, I looked very graceful as I stretched out and floated through the air, landing gently on the stupid idiot. I don't want my vision to be shattered.
Anyway, Hubby carried him by one leg, because they are squirmy little stinkers, and we didn't want to chase him again.  And, do you know what? The nursery rhyme is true.  He went "wee wee wee" all the way home.
The Mule Hoofs look like footballs with feet

Everybody getting acquainted

Ferdinand just wanted to say hello

I see bacon and sausage and pork chops and pork loin and spare ribs and...

Darlene  (I accidently deleted my fancy signature, so I'll just have to type it in this time.)


  1. this was so much fun to read - hilarious!

  2. I vote we make a reenactment video!

    1. Haha. No. I only had one pig dive in me, and I used it up.

  3. A great story! Like the time my dog chased my sister's rooster, my sister chased my dog, and I chased my sister, everyone screaming, barking and crowing at once! NEVER again. ha ha

  4. Oh, Darlene, what a picture you painted. I could see it all happening so clearly in my mind's eye. The only part I don't like is the thought of those dear sweet piglets ending up as bacon :( I eat bacon and ham but couldn't imagine eating any raised by me...that would make them pets, and I couldn't eat a pet :(

    Guess I wasn't cut out to be a farmer's wife! I do envy you your six acres of heaven on earth!

  5. That's why I give them names that remind me of their purpose: Bacon, Pork Chop, Hammy. Although, my granddaughter has named the one I chased, Wilbur. She's read "Charlotte's Web." She doesn't like us eating our animals, either. She wants us to eat someone else's. Then I tell her, but we know what we've fed our animals. She doesn't care. Luckily, we'll be raising pigs for some friends, so Wilbur will be the one who goes to them! (And, they're not "dear, sweet piglets" when you're chasing them! LOL!)


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