When free range becomes just too free...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


You all know how we have pigs.  2 huge, puppy-like animals with big floppy ears that bounce up & down when they run around the paddock.  You also know we are ex-city people with very soft heart who often entertain our neighbours with our lack of knowledge.....
Hmmmm.... bad combination I'm thinking :)

It came to pass that when our pigs were little pigs they were given their section of the farm.  A small paddock complete with a large shed to provide plenty of shelter & prevent their little pink bodies getting sunburn & other such nasties.  For two days they lived in this abode & loved it, but quickly they looked out of the fence & found themselves coveting what was on the other side so they squeezed their little round bodies under the gate & made off for the lush green grass near the house.  The farmers being somewhat soft-hearted enjoyed seeing their little piggies eating down this grass.  Not only was it providing nutrition to their fat pink bodies, but it was also reducing the likelihood of snakes sheltering anywhere nearby.  Being free range piggies there was no smell to bother the family & so the family enjoyed the grunts & snorts coming  from over the fence.
 Sadly as Boris & Delores grew they found that patch of grass wasn't enough for them.  They began to venture further & further afield.  They mastered the art of climbing under fences by squishing their bodies down to the ground, holding their breath ( I'm sure they had to) & sliding their enlarging bodies under, bending the wire in the process.  Even this didn't phase the kind-hearted farmers.  Sure their pigs were going further away, but they were still taking care of the majority of their diet & could generally be found down by the dam rolling in the mud during the heat of the day.  Though they went under the fences, the piggies were smart enough to go under the same place, so not wrecking too much of the need -to-be-fixed fence anyway.

As the pork produces continued to grow it seemed their wanderings covered more distance.In the middle of the farm they found the big shearing  shed ~ with perfect shelter underneath for two big pigs, so they decided to upgrade to this luxury-sized home .  They took to spending their time here & roaming the paddocks, unless the ute was out feeding the sheep, in which they followed it very closely.   Still the farmers didn't mind.  It seemed there had been no problems with the pigs & sheep being together ( contrary to popular fairytales, these pigs do not have a knack of communicating with sheep no matter how much 'baa ram eweing' goes on' ~ in fact there seems to be very little communications between the two as long as the sheep do not come too close when they pigs are pilfering their grain rations then it's more of a hostile grunt 'get away before I take your leg off' sound in which the poor sheep would run away in fright.).  So they all lived happily~ the farmer in his homestead knowing the animals were getting a balanced, free-range diet & the pigs, roaming the length & breath of Sunnyside, exploring their new home and all the tasty vegetation it held. And the sheep who were too well behaved to harbour any such naughty thoughts of going under fences.
And all could have been happy living like this.  
But alas it was not to be so..

One  warm Saturday morning when the farmers were doing whatever farmers do on a busy Saturday morning, little Delores felt the need to explore a little further afield, so she broached the boundary fence & left her happy little home at Sunnyside, ready to explore the big, wide world.  Across paddocks she trudged, meeting many sheep in her wake. Over acres & acres of ground she trudged,  under countless fences and to numerous dams she wandered in her travels.  It wasn't until she felt hungry that she decided to try & find a nearby homestead knowing that the people are the ones who provide the yummy grain which is her favourite snack.
Cutting the two enormous pumpkins needed for the party that night!

Meanwhile at Sunnyside all was in oblivion.  If Boris missed his nomadic companion he wasn't letting on.  It was only when the telephone rang it's familar jingle that the farmers learnt of their missing swine.  The neighbour seemed a little taken back that a round, pink visitor was in her nearby paddock, happily keeping pace with the tractor that was sowing their future harvest. So the farmer & his son set off to investigate.  Upon arrival at the neighbours' place they observed their silly animal wandering the freshly sown paddock.    After much debate as to the best method of transporting the animal back to the confines of Sunnyside since a 100+ kg animal is no match for a farmer no matter how handsome, strong & muscular he might be,  the farmer decided that all he could do was walk her along the gravel lanes between the two farms.

So thankful for my extra large farmhouse oven!!  

 Slowly they trundled off, the son driving the ute behind the farmer driving the pig in front. What a procession they made. Poor little Delores, exhausted from her morning's stroll seemed in no great hurry to return herself  home again. In face every little bit of shade beckoned her as a prime resting spot!  The walk was slow, loooooong & rather boring for all involved, with a tired pig & a time schedule of needing to leave for a dinner commitment ( of which the farmers wife was providing the roasted pumpkin, so really had to be there on time).  Finally after over an hour of this tedious pursuit the home front was in sight.  Delores was marched right up to the farmyard & deposited non too happily in her original paddock area much to her disgust.  Boris wandered up to keep her company soon after.  Much to the delight of the farmers neither pig could broach their side of the fence & so they lived like that on either side of the fence for about 2 days.  Until Boris got the wandering bug....   

But that's another blog post in itself!!!

Notice the black pipe sticking up that has been chewed.  Let's just say I've got some plumbing work to do (again) this afternoon!
Now two big pigs are living happily together in their half acre section of Sunnyside.  They have grown much too big to squish under the gate & quite frankly they are much too lazy to wander too far except to make the occasional escape when the kids leave the door open!

Delores showing off her latest prize in her tap collection!

Let's just leave them there ~ happily pulling taps off the top of the waterpipe (again...).   We could say they are as 'Happy as a pig in mud' because well that's exactly how they are!

Have a joyful day my friends

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