|Photo from 1.funny.com The real culprits aren't available to pose.|
My first thought was a fox in the neighboring hen house but I was raised on a chicken farm and decided that sound had not come from a chicken, even it its death throes. A cat maybe? Or a bunny caught in an owl's talons? It came again, a long squeal like a pig would make. There were no pigs at the farm next door that I knew of. What you don't know can surprise you.
Moments later I hear a shout. "This way, this way!" followed by a galloping form, shadowy in the darkening woods. An answering shout came from further away. "Over here, over here!"
There was a thud, a sharp squeal, a sudden splash and silence.
I stood on the patio listening. Nothing. Whatever it was, it was gone now. I closed the door and went to bed.
The next morning I went to the mulch bin at the edge of the yard with the kitchen compost. I had the lid in my hand when I heard a pattering of feet. I looked up to see a piglet heading straight for me. Just as its beady little eyes caught sight of me, it veered into the woods, squealing in surprise. Behind it raced the neighbor's white and yellow cat, its tail fluffed, its whole body bent on catching that pig. I lost sight of the two of them in the underbrush. Moments later the farmer's son, B, came panting down the path. "Did you see a... " he gasped, bending over to catch his breath.
"Your cat?" I asked. "Chasing a pig?"
He grinned at me. "I was using a little cat food as a bribe," he said. "The pig liked the idea but the cat didn't." He dashed off again in pursuit.
Later I learned he'd brought 3 little piglets home to raise for fall meat. One went straight from the travel box to the barn but the other two bolted. B and his mother spent what remained of the daylight chasing those two pigs. The splash I'd heard was one of the piglets jumping into the pond across the road. B grabbed its hind leg as it started to paddle away but lost his footing and fell. The retrieved pig hit the ground running and disappeared in the bushes.
As of this morning, one pig of three is still in the barn, the cat is sitting guard over his food dish on the farmhouse porch, and the other two piglets are out there somewhere in the neighborhood, hiding out. I'm hoping there's a reward of pork chops for anyone with information on their whereabouts.