Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pigs out!

My brother and I have an issue. He calls me “white-trash”. I say to call me a “redneck”…it’s better on the offensiveness scale. This story may have him throwing offensiveness out the window.

Monday was the day we were getting Mr. Wiedz back, although I had to drive and meet him and his friend and get him…small price to pay. We hadn’t really done much around the house that day. Oh wait, never mind. I’d washed all the linens, hung them out to dry and remade all the beds. I also made cookies with the 3 olders for afternoon snack. Not the kind of “with” that they watch me make cookies, the kind of “with” that they measure in the ingredients and get turns stirring…the time consuming kind of “with”.

After all beds were made and cookies all out of the oven I did my periodic search for #3. He likes to escape and wander around outside. He’s usually no problem to find, just call his name and he pops his head out of the shed, the coop or the garden where he’s been playing. Sure enough, I called his name and heard him up at the chickens. Only this time he’d opened the door and they were trying to do their own escaping. He was hollering at them but having a hard time keeping them in and getting the door shut. I put #4 down on the grass and went to fix the chicken problem. I found a bungee cord and made it so he can’t open the door on his own anymore. And we headed back to the house. As we got to the door, having recollected #4, I noticed movement along the back of the backyard in an area we call our forest. This area is about eight very tall trees. There is a great big hole at the base of an old fallen down tree to use as a fort, a hammock and lots of running around space. Also this is the favorite place to pick up twigs when #1 is playing that she is a pioneer child.

The movement I noticed was a pig. One of our pigs. One of our pigs that was supposed to be in the pen.

I rushed everyone into the house and told them to stay in and to watch #4 so he didn’t freak out.

I went out to the pen to make sure the other two weren’t gone as well…nope, they were just fine. And there were no holes in the pen so I’m guessing she climbed over the walls to freedom. So next was a search for some rope. Not finding any, I used the cable we use to tie up the dog. I made a slip not by clipping the connector to the cable itself and set off to “wrangle me a pig”- see, I’m itching to be called “white-trash”.

By this time she was up by the chickens so I walked calmly up there. I chased her (at a walking pace) around the entire house until we were back at the shed where she started. She got herself in the shed next to the pen so I moved around some things so she only had one way out, my way. I held the cable out so she’d have to walk through it, which she did. At this point my entire area knows I’ve got a pig out because she let out the most horrible noise. Not the nice snorting or “talking” they normally do but an ear-splitting scream! We stood there for quite awhile, her screaming and trying to get away, me holding on to the cable for dear life.

Once she calmed down a little I worked my way to the gate of the pen. But it was jammed closed. The chain we use at the bottom of the gate to keep them from pushing it open or #3 from opening it for them was so tight I could not undo it to open the gate. I needed to shovel out the door from inside the pen but couldn’t let go of the pig to use both hands and shoveling is a two-handed job!

Throwing out that they all needed to stay in the house, I screamed for #1 to bring me the phone. Although this was helpful, the dog getting loose of the house as a result of the door opening was not helpful. Now the pig is screaming again and I’m screaming at the dog to get him away! We tried the neighbor but they were not home. I stood there at a loss for quite awhile, how am I going to do this? I try to get her to come to a small fenced pasture area we have close to the shed but now that she’s seen her home and her friends she will not budge. So I hand #1 the cable. Tell her not to panic if the pig gets up (she had worn herself out so much she was now laying in front of the gate that won’t open) and just to hold the cable tightly. I took the rest of the cable inside the pen with me so if #1 had to let go I could still hold on.

I set to work shoveling…I’ll spare you those details. Just to say it was not fun. It was not clean. It was a lot of hard work.

After I figured I’d done enough to get the door to open I climbed out of the pen and started working on the chain. The pig still would not move so this was all reaching across her. I pushed on the gate. I worked at the chain. I pushed more on the gate. I tried with all my might to get the chain to move to the opening. Just. A. Little. Bit. More. #1 prayed for me.

IT OPENED! Oh, you should have heard the angels sing! And a wonderful answer to #1’s prayer…I love it when she gets to see the Lord so clearly.

Then, of course, I had to drag the pig out of the way so the gate could open. Once I got an opening in the gate that she could get through she was all about finding the mud! Oh, sweet mud!

Back to the house for a shower for me. Celebration calls for #1 to make. (Mr. Wiedz had called during all this so she wanted to be the one to call and report our success. I figured I should get to make that call having done all the work, I digress.) And off to get Mr. Wiedz, who will be putting some electric wire around the top of the pig pen tomorrow.

So, most anyone I’ve told this story to says they’d have paid money to see it. But I think I might see my brother’s opinion of living in the middle of nowhere.

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