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Gravy had been gone for nine days now. We had told all of our neighbors and no one had seen her. There is no way a freshly weaned piglet could survive on it’s own for nine days. Poor, poor Gravy. We felt so bad for our little Gravy. Every time we went outside we would listen and look around to see if she was hiding in plain sight. She wasn’t.
It was early afternoon on Monday and I was feeding the kids lunch. We were going to head over to Tonya’s to pick some green beans with her. My cell phone rang and I didn’t recognize the number so I almost didn’t answer. Boy, am I glad I did answer this call. It was our neighbor from across the street, he happens to own the convenience store down the road. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Yes, it is.
Neighbor: I just saw your pig in a field down the road.
Me: You did?!?!?
Neighbor: Yeah, you know where the two donkeys and horse are with the barn and pond? It was there. (When you live in the country this is how you describe locations)
Me: I know exactly where. Thank you SO much!!
(A customer at his store came in and told him they saw a pig down the road. He jumped in his truck to see exactly where it was before he called me)
I hung up and told my mom. She said she was pretty sure that was the place where my cousin pet sits. She called my cousin to ask her to call them while I called Farmer Derek. I kept thinking that it was too good to be true and I wouldn’t believe it until I laid my own eyes on Gravy.
Farmer Derek said he was heading home to help us catch her. Jack helped me load up the dog crate and some pig feed into the van. My cousin was able to get in touch with the property owner, Rebecca, and she was home. She said she had seen the pig out there and tried to lure it into her barn.
My mom and I loaded up the kids into the van and headed over to catch the pig. We got there and saw her laying under a tree along the fence line. I told everyone whatever they did DO NOT CHASE HER! I set out the dog crate and the food pan, then stepped back. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to the crate and close it if she went in without her getting away first.
She walked over towards it and sniffed, but decided to turn away and go back under the tree. I let Tonya know we had found her and she offered to let us use one of her pigs as bait to lure Gravy over. On his way home, Farmer Derek stopped by Tonya’s and borrowed her pig, another crate, and their truck. Just before he got to Rebecca’s, Gravy began to wander off.
I wanted to follow her to keep an eye on her but I didn’t want to get her running. Rebecca and I followed her up the hill along an old fence. She ducked under the fence and into a huge thicket. I was really worried but I knew Farmer Derek would be there any minute. Rebecca went around the back of the thicket to keep Gravy from escaping on that side.
(If you look really close you can see Gravy’s head sticking out of that thicket)
Derek got there and drove right up the hill to where we were. He unloaded the other crate with the pig in it and set it next to our crate. He was super smart and brought rope to tie to the crate door. I sat way back and held the rope so I could close it fast when she went in
. My mom took the kids, other than Jack, home so it would be nice and quiet. Jack went down the hill a little to keep Gravy from running off that way. Farmer Derek got the lucky job of wading through the briar thicket after the pig (deja vu huh?). Gravy was definitely interested in the new pig and kept poking her head out. There were a couple of times I thought she was going to take off but she finally came over to the crate. This was it! She walked right up to it and walked halfway in then she changed her mind and walked away, back into the thicket.
We were SO close! It was a waiting game now. After about another ten to fifteen minutes she came back out. She sniffed around the crate and alas, she walked in. I yanked the rope and held it tight. Jack ran up and locked the crate door as fast as he could. We were all elated, high fives all around! Rebecca said she wanted to take a picture of the pig so people would believe her story. We loaded up the dog crates, tied them down and headed home.
We got home and carried the dog crate over to the pig area. As we lifted the crate over the fence the side popped open and Gravy tumbled out right onto the other two pigs. We all got a kick out of that sight. Finally, the prodigal pig was home! So, now we have three very happy little pigs.
(The three little pigs really did wee wee wee all the way home) (The prodigal pig giving me a smile)
Farmer Derek and Jack returned the bait pig, dog crate and truck to Tonya’s. They came home to get the rest of us in the van and we all went green bean picking at Tonya’s. And pick beans we did!
(All the farm kids plus little miss Arlie, (Tonya’s farm baby), and a whole bunch of beans!)
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