Glancing up from my desk this morning, I happened to notice an addition to mammal list for the garden:
Fortunately, I didn’t have to resort to weaponry – our new neighbours in the farmhouse up the road have a bit of a menagerie (it’s not the first time we’ve had some of their charges in the garden) and this was one of their Tamworth pigs that they’d brought in to do a bit of ground clearing (in this case Japanese knotweed but apparently they love ground elder, although from the sight of their enclosure, it’s a bit of a scorched-earth solution to weed eradication). They’re clearly well treated because its reaction to a couple of strange humans, one armed with a camera in search of blog material, was to come over and try and make friends.
It was easily encouraged back home, happily following the other half up the hill while I followed on behind in case ir decided to make a run for it. Then I kept the pig in place by scratching it behind the ears while the other half hunted around for our neighbours. They were out, but with a little bit more encouragement we did manage to get the pig more or less contained next to its companions, closed it in with a gate that was leaning against a wall (this is a smallholding very much of the Grundy persuasion), and hoped for the best.
And the half a hog part? Well, when I went back up later to let our neighbour know what had happened, he enquired whether we wanted to purchase half a pig for Christmas. This leaves me in something of a dilemma. On the one hand, if you eat meat, which we do, albeit less than we used to, then we’re urged to choose meat from animals that have had a good life and were raised on a small scale, and we know that this one at least is definitely very free range. But on the other hand, and this is nothing but sentimentality, it’s hard to face tucking into an animal whose ears you have recently been scratching.
Maybe if it makes another break for it, we’ll give it asylum instead…
* with thanks to Stroppy Cow on Twitter for the title suggestion