Wednesday, November 10, 2010

good fences and good neighbors

The other day we woke up late and generally that does not make for an ideal start to the morning, but we manage. Hungry barn animals and dogs that are crossing their legs do not greet you like they are happy you are there, it's more like "My eyeballs are floating I have to pee so bad!" (Dogs) or "It's about time you showed up with breakfast! I'm STARVING!" (Barn animals) Then to compound that the kids were...shall we say needing redirection... it was not a good morning, and yes, it was a Monday. Why do you think I renamed the alpaca?! So after all that unfolded I was needless to say shocked to glance out my living room window and see my neighbor and another gentleman standing in my driveway looking in the direction of the barn. Andrew asked if he could run out and say "Hi!" I said sure and went out just a minute after him, I was in the process of making tea, it was likely "tension tamer."

As I walked into the yard I glanced around the yard and nothing seemed out of place, much to my relief, when I approached the neighbor and the other man Andrew was in mid story hurling back to me the events of hoe the two men came to be standing in my yard. The pigs had gotten out!!! I can only imagine the look on my face, sheer horror I'm sure as that is certainly what I felt like on the inside. I was promptly introduced to the unknown gentleman and was quick to discover where he lived in relation to me. OH. MY. WORD!!! He and his wife had just recently finished planting tulip bulbs and looked out or were out in the yard that morning and were shocked to find two black and white pigs rooting up the area where they had just planted the tulips! The day was only just beginning and it was already a real corker! They managed to shoo the pigs out, but had no idea where they came from or anywhere to put them until they could figure it out. He tried to rope the bigger of the two; seeing as they were friendly and not aggressive he was not afraid of them. But I don't know how many of you have ever tried to rope 250-300 pounds of pure muscle, but those pigs will go where. ever. they. want! This gentleman found himself on the losing end of a rope with a squealing well muscled pig who was having nothing to do with going in the direction he wanted her to go. So I'm told.

I'm not sure how exactly it came to them to try our road, oh, did I mention that when the pigs escaped they took off from the farm up the driveway, down our dirt road and onto a second road? Why they ever left our yard is beyond me, but suffice it to say that I was seeing dollar signs in property damage that I'd need to repair from my 'wild' pigs! Ah-hem, I mean these girls are so wild they sit like a dog on command... I checked with the neighbors and they didn't do any damage or eat the tulip bulbs, much to my relief and they didn't hurt anybody or cause too much mischief. They did eat all the apple drops on this gentleman's yard, and a bit of garlic bread I'm told. It turned out that my neighbor (who knew the pigs were ours) and this other gentleman were just on their way back across the street after putting the pigs back in the pen and looking back over their shoulders to make sure the gate would hold. I was told they tried ring the doorbell, but it didn't work. Our doorbell doesn't work, hasn't since we moved in, tried to have it fixed but it's very similar to the doorbell on the Cosby show, instead of a ding! it was more like a weeeeoouughnntttttt! dingggggggernt! Yeah, it was annoying, so we unplugged it. Besides most people know we're usually pretty busy doing all that we do and it's better if they call first to make sure we'll be home before they pop in. Or if they do pop in by chance we're likely outside anyway, or the dogs will announce a visitor. But they know now it doesn't work. Oddly enough the dogs didn't even hear the ruckus.

Now you may be asking how it came to be that the pigs were out in the first place. Well, let me tell you. The night before it was freezing cold and freezing rain; and since the pigs will not leave the shelter I've re-built only about a million times up, (Bethany seems to think it's an excellent place to scratch her butt on) and I was in no mood to rebuild it in that kind of weather so I opted to rearrange the animals in the barn for the night and put the pigs in there. I'd spent part of the weekend running some new fencing and hadn't finished it due to freezing fingers, if I had the pigs would not have been running around town. I knew the girls (pigs) were not too excited about being inside, but I felt better knowing they were not out in that cold weather wishing they hadn't knocked down their shelter, again. I knew I'd put them back out in the pen the next morning when I did the morning barn chores. The stalls in the barn do not have latches on them to the outside, never had a need, they slide open and work well - except when you've got to pigs that will go where. ever. they. please! They do respect the electric fence though, thankfully! The two men had shut the pigs into the pen and were on their way home with a great story about a crazy morning wrangling pigs back home to an even crazier neighbor I'm sure. I thanked them both wholeheartedly and both were kind and told me no problem and they were glad to help. They were glad the girls were so friendly too!

Want to know something even more embarrassing to me but you may enjoy it. The next day we went into the town hall to vote, when I walked in I was greeted by, 'Well, I'm glad to hear you got your pigs back!' This was from the wife of the man I get my hay from who lives on the other side of town! The runaway, seemingly homeless pigs were the talk of the town - on election day not doubt! Does that say something about the candidates we had to choose from or is it more like pork barrel spending?! I rarely blush, my face felt as hot as the summer sun! It did give some excitement to an elderly neighbor who lived up the road in the opposite direction from the one the pigs took, but still it was excitement and to be the talk of the town well, that was a bit too much excitement for me!

So tonight I'm thankful for my awesome neighbors, who even before this incident I thought very highly of. (I'm also thankful they were not afraid to wrangle the girls.) They all welcomed us into the neighborhood within days of moving here with fresh baked pies and cookies and warm wishes. They don't mind my children talking their ears off while out in the yard doing yard work or their offers to help. It's a phone call in a power outage during a nor'easter to let you know if you're heat is out they've got a wood stove with a roaring fire and we are welcome there anytime that makes this neighborhood warm, friendly and my home. Before we moved here we lived in another town, much larger than this and never knew most of our neighbors, and it wasn't because we didn't try. But for so many reasons I'll take these neighbors every time! Thank you God for placing us in this neighborhood at this time with these neighbors. Thank you neighbors for being as wonderful as you are!


  1. Wow what an epic event there! Probably not the best way to meet the neighbors, but indeed you sure do have some great ones! Glad the girls got home safe and didn't cause too much mayhem!

  2. Aaaaahhhhhh farm life. Wouldn't trade it for any other... most days!! LOL

  3. You just have to love a small Maine town where loose pigs are the big excitement of the day and where neighbors take care of neighbors. We're a tad old fashioned and it's good.

  4. AMEN TO GOOD NEIGHBORS! You and your hubby were my neighbors (in separate houses) at one time before you were married, just falling in love...just down the road a piece....SIGH.....where have years flown?

    Now back to the pigs! Thank goodness your two girls with 4 feet were okay! No property damage, BONUS!


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.