With pigs, it's not a matter of IF they escape, but WHEN. This was one of my biggest worries about having a pig. Would he get into the garden? Would he terrorize the neighborhood? How would he be with the children? Would I be able to get him back in the pen?
Yesterday, I arrived home with the children after the oldest's piano lesson and heard the phone ringing. It went to the machine before I got to it and I heard my neighbor's voice telling me that the pig was loose and was by the road. I quickly ran outside and found him down back near his pen. When he heard me, he came running to me like a puppy dog. It was a glorious moment of freedom with grunty pig and squealing children running around the yard while I grabbed some food to help encourage pig back home. In no time at all, pig happily returned to his pen and ate.
Somehow, he had unlatched the gate.
So, I made sure the gate held fast and returned to the house for the evening. Before bedtime, I had some compost to dispose of and trekked down back. Pig was dozing in his hut, but his gate was unlatched! So, I grabbed a rope and tied it shut after relatching the gate.
This morning, I was in the bedroom folding laundry and I heard the familiar grunts of our pig. This time, they sounded questioning and awfully close. Sure enough, he was loose again and near the back door, looking for me (or food...we're pretty much one in the same).
So, we had a jolly romp back down to the pen, me with a bag of almonds in hand. He was a bit more reluctant to return and squealed his discontent. Once freedom is tasted, it is hard to go back to confinement. But, foraging for the nuts I threw in his pen and getting him his breakfast put him in a better mood. This time I tied the gate twice.
We're going to have to get a chain.
And thank God he didn't get into the garden or cause an accident.