About once a month, I go out to the far field to check on the pigs. I know I should go more often – and don’t worry our groom feeds them and looks in on them daily so they are well looked-after – but they’ve been around for a long time now and I guess the novelty of them has worn down to a once a month attraction. Porky and Bacon (named by my kids obviously) originally belonged to my brother-in-law, but they lived in the yard across from our cottage so we got to know them well when they were babies. They escaped into our garden and often in to the house, and Zach did his first pig riding on them. They were exceptionally friendly little piggies.At one point, the pigs were moved up to the field next to my brother-in-law’s house but we still saw them almost daily while walking Ginger. Then one day we heard through the farm grapevine (as one does) that the pigs were being sent off to be made into sausages. Well Zach was not having that at all. He burst into tears and then started nagging incessantly. My brother-in-law patiently explained to Zach that we live on a farm and the fact that pigs are livestock- not pets – was a reality he would have to accept. The only option he proposed was that we bring the pigs back into our fields and care for them ourselves. Zach made all sorts of promises to us about feeding for them every morning before school and checking on them in the evening, and so we agreed to take on the pigs, as pets.
I would argue that the pigs have a damn good life – a huge field all to themselves on the edge of our farm and a lovely shed to snuggle up in, plenty of light and shade – but with not much thanks to Zach. At best he visits them as often as I do. However the one or two times a month that he rides them, it gives us all such pleasure that it makes it worth having them. And they are so incredibly cute and sweet – they always come running over when I approach their field, and if you come with treats, like apples, they will sit and beg with big smiles on their faces (and teeth shooting out in all directions) until you give them what they want. I hope they are as happy as they look.