We were contacted yesterday by friends of a friend to find out if we were missing a pig. An exotic specimen had turned up in the yard of another of their friends. This lady kept horses and her horses were mortally afraid of pigs. This seemed odd to me but it seems that many horses are wary of pigs. Out of curiosity and some concern for the pig we agreed to go check it out.
The pig was in a huge barn and the five of us strolled in. The pig, a potbelly, was in the corner of the barn. It was only a baby, maybe a few months old. Anyway it got spooked and made for the door which was closed but it found a little breach and off it went. Pigs are great escapologists. The last we saw it was haring up the side of a hedge. Bert decided to take to the fields to see if he could find it but had no success. I met him in Clint's yard. This lady's place was a mile or two by road but only a couple of field lengths as the crow flies.
We were cross with ourselves because that time in the shed was our best chance of capturing it. I must say it preyed on both our minds that poor wee thing was out in the open without food or shelter. I was angry too with whoever had owned it because it seemed very likely that it had been abandoned. It was just about the right age to have been small and cute at Christmas time. Perhaps it was a gift that turned out unsuitable. The practice of dumping unwanted pets is common here and over the years I've come across it many times. Our big ginger cat, Fred, was actually dumped from a car in the Doagh Road as I was walking there.
What do people be thinking of when they do that? Do they think that their unwanted pet will be picked up by a kind stranger and taken in? I've been that kind stranger on a number of occasions but, believe me, there are not enough kind strangers to go round. A few years back Bert had to scrape a pulverised dog off the road and bury it. He did this on the off chance that it was someone's lost pet and that the sight of it would be too upsetting for them. But no one came looking and it is probable that the dog was dumped on our road and got hit by a car.
The little pig was on our mind and Bert went out with the dogs yesterday evening to see if he could find it. They had no joy. It wasn't a cold evening and we were hopeful that it would survive to live another day. He and his friend went out again today. Máirtín is a city boy and enjoys the things we do here. Dosing calves, potting up clematis, burning stuff , driving tractors and searching for pigs - Máirtín loves it all. Jess led them to the pig, two pigs! Two potbellies grazing at the edge of a copse, enjoying the late winter sun and not overly afraid of humans or dogs. Still too skittish to be caught. They are only a field length away from Clint's place and he says that if they turn up in his wood they can stay!
I'm glad there are two of them. It will increase their chance of survival but I cannot help wondering what is going on. Two dumped pigs or two lost pigs. Will we ever find out?