So my piglets are in the woods in a pen/shelter area surrounded by a woven wire fence and some electric wiring at the snout-level. Four pigs were raised in this set up last year and save one incident, never escaped. But these little guys, they have figured out a new way nearly every week! And when I patch it up, lower the wire, strengthen the fence… they thwart that. We have a fine game of chess going and when I came back from hunting today I could see it was my turn to move. All the pigs were out on the lawn, trotting along and rooting through the last bits of layer pellets in the chicken feeder. Oh boy!
With other pigs I would have panicked, but with this crew I just smile. They do not need to be chased and tricked, all they need is my hog call, "HHHHhheeeeeeyyyyy peeeeeggggs!" and they trot behind me like I'm a piper in a storybook. They follow me right back into their pen through an open door, easy as letting in a cat from the rain. At this point I can let them out whenever I want (as long as they are a little hungry, that is!) and let them explore and grub about. They don't run off, they don't want to be far away and I like seeing them scamp. They are, of course, piglets and can only do so much damage. I suppose if they were big pigs I may not feel so liberal about their free time. But for now, while they are cute and small and the leaves are still green on the maples - I can play swineherd of the thicket. Oh boy is right! Didn't see that one coming when I was sitting in my 200th hour of typography classes in college, now did I?