Meet the three wee pigs. Who, after their arrival (ie, one day to collect, three days distracted with plumbing) decided to put on a show in line with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Penzance production.
Scene one, act one began as they were given access to explore their new surroundings. The electric fence was soon tested but they showed their savviness. I breathed out a sign of relief, and with that, a sudden sprint ensued, a synchronised limbo dance move and all three went straight under the bottom wire and off they trotted.
Yes, off they frolic in their new sense of freedom when, upon spotting the cows, changed their navigation route like true pirates and headed straight to the byre.
As I quickly approached the new lair (and shut the door), the pigs took note that I had deceived them. And rather than go quietly into a wee corner, they decided it was better to live and die as pirate pigs than go easily. And I’m sure anyone wanting to audition for the next Captain Jack Sparrow, just needs to chase pigs. Eventually, while out of puff and with several bruises (me, not the pirates), all three were placed in the dog’s crate (improvising at its finest) and hauled (they may be wee but heavy when lifting!) back to their home.
And it is at this point when things took a twist. I had used a sheep gate across the front of their home while they acclimatised, it had worked perfectly. The first out was Runty MacRuntface who, did a magic trick and went straight through the gate. How he did it, I will never know, but there, for split second, he stood outside of his home, glanced back and then, doing the identical breakdancing trick as before, off he trotted.
Now this time, the cows took an interest in the wee ginger ninja. So he changed his bearings and headed west. As I gained ground on him, he slipped through the next fence, swung wide and headed for the road. Bear in mind, piglets are small but they sure can move at some pace. As he started to then head back to the byre, a brief sense of relief was felt until, at the last gasp, he shot off back down the road, slipped through the neighbours deer fence, crossed the river a couple of times before disappearing into some heather. And then vanished. Completely and utterly vanished.
The mishap fugitive on the run had not gone unnoticed. The neighbours (whose property it was that he went AWOL on) came out to help and started combing the area too. I checked for footprints. We got the dogs out to try and smell him. But no, he became the poor wandering one. And eventually I had to give up. The boys needed their lunch. I was needing a seat. But even then, while the sun shone (why, oh why could I not just be sat enjoying the sun with a G & T?), I scanned the east side of the glen like I was gold panning. Just as I gave up and started cracking on with the other jobs for the day, my phone rang. He had been spotted, not in the glen, but high up, in the forestry woods and appeared to be having a whale of a time.
And this is when the concept of getting him back started to diminish. After several circuits, bent over, through the thick, sharp tree undergrowth, I had to call it quits. He had disappeared again. The idea of a Scottish ginger wild boar being discovered by a rambler in years to come and becoming front page news for the local press crossed my mind. I had to accept defeat and go give the confession to the Crofter. A pirate sherry was poured and the acceptance of loosing to a piglet hung in the air.
But, never fear, for their operetta does not end there. For that evening, as I trudged wearily out to feed the remaining two, both snuggled up in the straw; there, under their house, was the runaway pig. As the sun slowly dipped behind the hill, the blue sky turning to a very chilly hue, he was finally reunited with his comrades (ok, after five laps of the house trying to get him in).
And since that day, they have remained in their designated spot. Hill walkers and ramblers will not come across a ginger boar running wild in the woods. The local press will need to find other stories to cover. Oh happy day.