On the way home I used my cell phone to call home. I told my son, Mitchell, that we had the pig and would be home soon. I asked him to round up the dogs and close them up in the basement so we could get Wilbur in the house without the little pig having a heart attack.
We had four dogs, Rhea’s dog Tony was old and had bad hind legs, and her dog Bluedoe, the Rot, had cancer and was sickly (both dogs had to be put to sleep within a couple of weeks). It was my two dogs that I was worried about. Dylan was a black haired mixed breed with a tail that curled up. He was about seven years old and very smart; he loved to escape from our yard and carouse the neighborhood looking for adventure, and females in heat. Toby was a brown haired Shepard, pointer, hound mixed breed. Toby was almost a year old, and very active; and he tagged along with Dylan when they escaped, which was a good thing because he was not smart enough to be able to find his own way home.
When we got home, I told Rhea to give me the pig. My figuring was that if Mitchell screwed up, or somebody let the dogs out, that they would listen to me to back off. As soon as Rhea handed me Wilbur, he had a panic attack. It was little hooves, and snout thrashing all about amid that horrendous ear piercing wail. I lost control of him, and dropped him to the ground. Fortunately, pigs are not like cats that hit the ground feet first, Wilbur went rolling, and before he could get his feet under him I pounced on him! I thought to myself “thank God I got him when I did; because if he eluded my grasp, there was no way I was going to catch him”. I carried him into the house with his wailing ringing in my ears.
The one thing I noticed about this little guy, besides his lung capacity; was his odor. It seems that when pigs are scared, they emit a loud screeching wail like a thousand nails across a chalkboard; and they also emanate a peculiar porcine scent. I brought him into the house thinking “What have I got myself in to? Am I going to have to listen this, and smell this everyday?!”
When we got into the house, the dogs were in the basement, so I relaxed a little. I started petting Wilbur, and baby talked to him, this calmed him down a bit. Rhea went around yelling through the house “I got a pig! Come see my pig!” Mitchell, my step son Sean, and my brother in-law Jeff (who was, and still lives with us) came running to check out the new pig. This of course got Wilbur all excited, and he started shrieking and smelling again. Mitchell smirked in jest, “We can’t even get baby back ribs off of him!” Rhea cried, “We are not eating him!” while I’m thinking to myself “Baby back ribs might not be a bad idea”. I held him while everyone came over and stroked his little head, and eventually he quieted down.
We had a spare bedroom with no furniture in it, so that was to be Wilbur’s room. While I held him, Rhea got a blanket, and laid it in one corner. Then she got some old newspapers and laid them out in the opposite corner. I went into the room carrying Wilbur, and closed the door behind us. I set Wilbur down, and he started to struggle, I let go of him and watched him try to scamper away. That was the first time that I truly noticed that Wilbur was different from the other animals. Wilbur has hooves, not paws, and the hard little hooves were having a difficult time gaining purchase on our hard wood floor. It was like watching a toddler on ice skates, as his feet kept sliding out from under him with every step. I thought he would fall flat on his face as he struggled to get away from me, but he didn’t. He scurried until he reached the wall, then turned and kept going until he hit the next one. When he realized that he was as far away from me as he was going to get, he stopped and looked at me. I walked over to him, he tried to escape but, with his hooves sliding on the hard wood floor he was easy prey. I picked him up, and set him on the blanket to a chorus of his wails. Rhea brought pieces of an apple she had cut up, and set them down next to the blanket. As soon as Wilbur smelled the apple he shut up, went over to the apple, and started eating. Rhea knew that the way to a pig’s heart was through his stomach. We walked out of the room, leaving Wilbur and his apple behind, and closed the door.
After supper we opened the door to check on Wilbur. Wilbur was sound asleep. He had used his snout to arrange the blanket in such a way that he was lying on it but also wrapped up in it. Rhea, and I just stood there smiling, two proud parents of a little piggy in a blanket.
Little did we know that this was the calm before the storm. The next day would lead to a great escape, and little game hunting for Jeff and me.