Yesterday we traveled to Henderson to buy some pigs. This morning, Miguel, Spork, and I decided to get the pigs out of our trailer and place them into our holding paddock. This was an excellent idea because:
- Spork was able to get out of school for farm work. Always a plus.
- Handling and castrating pigs trumped school. Education comes in many forms
- We were going to castrate the boy pigs. Something handy for Spork to learn as it’s his responsibility that his sisters are protected from any roaming suitors. Castration is what they call a negative influencer.
- Lastly, the pigs were ready to get out of the trailer and into somewhere new that hopefully had food.
We staged our work crew into various areas of expertise. Spork was in charge of catching the pigs in the trailer. This isn’t as easy as it sounds however Spork is the pig whisper and was able to lay healing hands on the errant pigs with alarming regularity, often overrunning Miguel and I.
Miguel was in charge of, well, everything. He kept the trailer door closed keeping the extra pigs from escaping while taking each “caught” pig from Spork and transferring it to the table to have it’s home surgery performed. Miguel was also in charge of sweetly and calmly lying to the pigs, telling them everything would be alright and that he’d be there for them. This was while they were being castrated. For the boys in the audience, you can well understand that everything most certainly was not going to be “alright”.
As El Jefe, I was in charge of the medical supplies and the sharp bits for the castration. Basically I get the dangerous but clean bits.
Our first pig was a female so I took her straight to the holding paddock. This paddock is remarkably similar to the area where the Ninja Cow was delivered on that fateful day. Unfortunately, the results were similar.
Shortly after depositing the first pig into the paddock, I discovered that the hot box wasn’t on, the hot wire was shorted even if it had been on, and there were about 10 places that a little pig could escape but that no other pig had ever looked at. Of course this first pig found the first place and escaped from confinement and into the barn yard. Miguel took off in pursuit while Carter and I grabbed the gator to give chase. Much like the Ninja Cow, the pig immediately took off and successfully navigated to the best route off the farm. A combination of Miguel, Carter, and I worked all the way down to the edge of The road and chased the pig up and down the fence, diving and failing to grab it. Miguel was yelling at me to keep the pig away from the corner fence, I was yelling to keep the pig away from the pond’s drainage line. Luckily we listened to each other and drove the pig to the corner of the pasture where it ran under a 10″ opening in the fence and escaped completely (Arrrghh, Miguel was right!).
Did I say luckily? Alas, I was due some misfortune because I had used MANY bad words up to this point, including using the Lord’s name in vain. Something Spork has reminded me of since, and of course has told his mother. /Sigh
So we returned, defeated, having lost a 50 dollar pig and much of my dignity. More importantly, I’m no closer to heaven after my language so I have that to work on as well. Miguel asked if we should string a new wire around the paddock. I couldn’t see where a new hot wire would make a difference so I said no. “Are you sure Jefe?” Yeah, I’m sure. Remember this point, it will become important later.
We proceeded to grab pigs and dump them into the paddock, castrating the boys till we’d reached pig number 7 of 10. Miguel kept pointing out that we might want to consider stringing a new wire as he didn’t like the way they were trying the existing hot wire. Then as we were reading pig #8 for castration, the pig I’d been eye balling the entire time, the black pig with a white stripe around it’s middle ala Ninja Cow, decided to jump not only the hot wire but the gate and the fencing material and escape into the wild.
Folks, if I hadn’t lost my religion prior, I certainly did when I watched this pig jump out of confinement and escape across our barn yard. The fact that it was the pig version of the ninja cow didn’t help. The fact that Miguel was in mid-sentence asking me “if I didn’t just want to string some wire, are you sure?” as this pig escaped just killed me. I kept picturing a single hot wire like we already had. Miguel, now obviously, meant to string chicken wire across the opening the pig had just escaped from. So much for my Spanglish. /Sigh.
So we went in pursuit of this new pig. Everyone was involved and we hoped that we could turn the pig back to it’s friends before it escaped completely. Much like the original ninja cow, the pig was head down and bent on escape, never stopping to look around or wonder. I lost the ninja pig in our tall pastures almost immediately and we didn’t see the pig again.
7 pigs dealt with, two escaped. Not a great ratio.
After a fruitless search, we began to turn our pig paddock into Fort Knox. Finally much effort was paid to every possible escape. The electric wire went from 1.5k volts to 13k volts. The openings were closed off and all was made secure. All of this was after the remaining pigs had escaped from another hole while I was chasing the ninja pig. Spork and Miguel managed to corral the pigs back into the paddock, preventing a mass escape. Fortunately I did not even know about the additional escape till after it was contained. I don’t think my psyche could have taken it at this moment.
So with Fort Knox secure, we castrated the rest of the pigs and I cleaned up and headed for work knowing farming wasn’t going to pay when I’m loosing $100 worth of pigs on day one. I’d not even made it to work when I received a call from our neighbors at the golf course that a black and white ninja pig had been spotted at hole number 6 and we needed to come and capture him. I hightailed it back to the farm, changed clothes, and recruited not only my family but any friends who might be nearby plus any errant golfers who might be close. After commandeering two golf carts we went on a pig hunt, complete with The Princesses pink rifle should we not be able to capture the pig. After one fruitless trip around the golf course, we returned to the house where I redressed for work and headed out for the joy that was 1 day of work compressed into a few pigless hours. While at work I received the following picture from Miguel.
The ninja pig had returned to her family and Miguel, through guile and ingenuity had managed to catch her and put her back with everyone else. This ends the story of the ninja pig, DAY 1. God help us for day 2.
Spork had decided that instead of ninja pig, this black and white pig should be named spider pig from the Simpson’s movie. After what I’ve seen, I can’t argue.