It was early morning Sunday and I was wandering around the section checking out what those “lovely rabbits” had nicked during the night when I saw what appears to be the neighbour’s cat. Nothing unusual in that as there are a couple of them that come by from time to time looking for an early morning snack of blackbird or thrush.
The low hanging tree branches hampered my view but something appeared rather odd about this particular “feline”.
Then it spotted me and like Usain Bolt, it raced off up the fence line in the opposite direction.
‘Wow” Rodney, that’s no cat, not running like that … “that’s a pig”, yes a runty weaner pig of all things, I’m was gobsmacked, couldn’t believe it, amazing.
Usually I’m grumbling about stray dogs, rats, thieving rabbits and pukes, but pigs, unreal.
Eleven years we’ve been living here and not so much as a whiff of a pig.
Now the story becomes interesting as I then had the task of catching this little critter before he discovered my scrumptious veggies that lay less than 40 meters away. I tried not to appear too concerned but inwardly I was becoming more agitated by the minute.
Based on the ground he’d already rooted up, my vegetable garden would’ve been a walk in the park for this cultivating machine as there were no rings in it’s nose to slow it up. I imagined that the previous “city farmer” owner would have known zilch about this.
When I was a boy on the family farm we kept pigs so I know how they operate and have seen large vegetables gardens completely destroyed within a space of 20 minutes. Can still hear my mother yelling “which of you kids left the gate open?”. She didn’t quite say it like that but you get my drift.
This little guy was small but he could have become my worst nightmare.
After several hours and some help from one of the neighbour’s teenage children my endeavours to catch this little pig had come to naught. It was time to devise a better plan.
With some well placed food scraps hopefully I could get porky to enter a trap made up of a garden cold frame.
Several hours later it was getting dark and our elusive friend was still on the loose.
It was time to call it a day.
I was finally in bed at midnight but couldn’t sleep as I kept visualising a certain little pig rooting up and devouring my potatoes. At 1.15 a.m. I was out to the garden again to erect some make shift fencing. Once completed I headed back to bed for a few hours sleep. It was about that time when I began to really resent this pesky porker.
Monday morning and I was fed up with trying to catch the pig, so I rang the local council to see if they could help. The nice lady on the phone wanted to know how big it was and if it was pink. Whilst trying not to laugh, I was tempted to say yes and that it had two wings and a BNZ logo on its rump but I refrained.
An hour or so later Fay the animal management officer arrived to assess the situation. The pig was nowhere to be seen so I was given a card and advised to ring again when he reappeared.
As I made my way down to the rear of the section I feared that another day would be wasted trying to catch “this pig”.
Little did I know that my luck was about to change for the better.
There right in front of me was the culprit and it was right under the cold frame eating the scraps I’d put out the day before. Slowly I made my way down the hill to retrieve the rope that was the means of operating the trap.
My first attempt was dismal as there was too much slack in the rope and the frame stayed put. Upon seeing the movement in the rope my cheeky little friend looked up and upon seeing me ran from under the trap.
I was so annoyed with myself as this had been by far my best chance.
Hang about, he was heading back towards the frame. At this stage I was statue-like with rope in hand and heart racing.
Right do it now!
I yanked on the rope and “YAY” at last I’ve got me a pig, what a relief.
My vegetable garden can continue to flourish. After almost a day and a half this troublesome pig looked really wonderful behind all this wire.
After taking a few photos it was time to say goodbye and pass “my friend” over to the animal management staff.
They assured me that if the previous owners didn’t lodge a claim a good alternative home would be found. A little part of me was sad to see this cute pig go but realistically we don’t have enough land to keep livestock.
Don’t you love an animal story with a happy ending.