Dick Tracy: Can pigs fly?
So, it was Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, and time to relax and reflect on yesterday’s Zoom meetings with friends and family.
Maybe it’s a good time to get started on paying bills for January? But wait … my Aussie-shepherd Spencer is barking a lot. Could it be the dozen turkeys we saw in the pasture this morning? He usually ignores them.
I grab my walking sticks and head outdoors with Felicia in the lead. Suddenly she’s running full tilt toward the pasture, where a retired stallion named Spanish Parade had just been galloping, pursued by his goat buddy, Ray Ray.
“Spanish has killed himself!” Felicia shouts and I see his motionless form lying next to — and on top of — a large boulder.
Then I see the reason for the commotion. A large white Yorkshire pig is loose. Not ours. Pigs and horses do NOT mix. Never. Felicia herds him toward our driveway and closes our gate behind him. Meanwhile, Spanish has survived his collision with the boulder and is scooting away to a far corner with Ray Ray at his side.
But the pig is ambling down toward Duggan’s Road. What happens when he gets there? Saturdays aren’t busy, but drivers often treat the two-lane undulating road as a raceway. What happens when one hits the pig? Their vehicle would probably hit a tree or dive into culverts on either side of the road. The thought is absolutely chilling.
A black SUV’s driver spots the animal and pulls her vehicle close enough that it scares him back up our driveway. She and her husband get out of their truck and begin slowly herding the black-faced animal up the driveway — and away from the road.
The pig is obviously a family pet and can be approached and touched as it devours a crop of fallen acorns. But when the driver of the SUV tries to put a rope around its neck to lead it to safety, she gets pulled off her feet by a squealing 300-pound porker.
We’ve called animal control for help, and the polite female driver is as perplexed as we are over what to do next. Getting him under control and lifted — squealing and fighting — into the back of the truck by the five of us is NOT a possibility.
Will we have to put him down to avoid a horrible accident?
Or if the animal control officer picks up a trailer and we manage to herd him in, it will cost the owner $1,500.
“I’m going to check with neighbors to see if anyone knows where he’s from,” the driver says.
And comes back smiling: “The owners are coming to help!”
Meanwhile, a gallant friend of the SUV driver shows up with his children in a truck pulling an old horse trailer. Happily, he isn’t needed but gets sincere thanks for his efforts.
A car parks at our mailboxes, and out spill a woman and five teenagers who walk right up to Mr. Pig, and they treat each other like old friends.
After exchanging pleasantries, they break the animal away from his feast of acorns and begin driving him home down Duggans Road.
It’s been nearly two hours since the story began, and this answers our prime question: “What do we do if we’re able to contain him?” His presence would drive the horses bonkers.
Not a problem. He goes home, where there are other pigs and friendly people for company. Phew.
Don’t you love stories with happy endings?
Dick Tracy, who lives in Grass Valley, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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