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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Wilbur and Us - Chapter 4 "Where Oh Where Did My Little Pig Go"
I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched Wilbur disappear down the street. Rhea got there in time to see him veer left through a neighbor’s yard about five hundred feet away. Wilbur was still moving as if his tail was on fire, and his ass was catchin’. Rhea cried out my exact thoughts, “We’ll never find him now!” Trying not to let her see my despair I said, “Don’t worry, we’ll get him back.” all the time thinking to myself “damn, how are we going to find, and catch that little son of a bitch?”
Our neighborhood was surrounded by water on two sides. Down the road about 1/3 of a mile to the east was the Genesee River, and across the street Black Creek acted as the boundary line for our neighbor’s back yards. Down the street where Black Creek emptied into the Genesee, there was a small State owned boat launch, and fishing area. The whole area, with the exception of the boat launch parking lot, and our neighbor’s yards was completely over grown with trees, brush, and tall weeds; a perfect piggy hiding place. Prospects did indeed look grim.
The only thing going in my favor was that I was well acquainted with that stretch of our road, and the boat launch area, because of my dog walking. Unless they escaped, the dogs were confined to our back yard, behind the fence. The only thing they had to look forward to besides escaping was our almost daily walks. One at a time, I would hook them up to the leash, and walk them down to the boat launch parking lot and back. This amounted to about a two mile walk for me, and a chance to sniff the scents for the dogs. Even Tony, with his bad hind legs, and Bluedoe, walking on basically three legs, never turned down the chance to walk and smell the scents.
Bluedoe was a big lovable rottweiler, with terminal cancer that manifested as a huge tumor on his upper front leg. Bluedoe was a birthday gift from Gerry, and Jason her two oldest sons, three years before, because Rhea wanted a rot so badly. It seems that whenever Rhea had her heart set on an animal she wanted, someone would get it for her; I should know, that’s why I was in the mess I was in.
I told Rhea to go finish making supper, and that I would try to locate the pig. I walked down the street to where it looked like he veered off the road. I looked through all of the neighbor’s yards seeking a miniature grousing pig. I ran into a few of my neighbors, and asked each one if by any chance they had seen a little pig go running by. Needless to say, I got quite a few incredulous looks by these neighbors, but no one had seen him.
I worked my way down the street until I reached the last house before the boat launch parking lot. That house was fenced in, so I began combing the tall weeds between the fence, and the parking lot. As I was moving the weeds with my foot to look for Wilbur, a young girl came out of the house and asked me what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for my new baby pig that had escaped, and had run in this general direction. She said “I haven’t seen him, but I think I know where he is”. My ears perked up, “How do you know where he is?” I asked. “I was in my back yard where I could hear snorting on the other side of the fence. I couldn’t figure out what it could possibly be, but I bet it’s your pig foraging for food.” She said. Well that certainly made sense to me. Once Wilbur felt safe enough, he certainly would start snouting around for grub. I thanked the girl, and asked if her mother would mind if we searched back there for Wilbur. “No, we wouldn’t mind at all. Happy hunting!” I went in back between their fence and the creek. It was all covered with bushes, weeds and trees. I knew I would need some help, so I headed back home.
When I got back I told Rhea I had located Wilbur, but now had to catch him. She recommended that I take Toby along to flush him out and hopefully, run him down. That was a good idea, we only had about 45 minutes of sunlight left, and we needed to grab Wilbur before sunset. The over night forecast was mid thirties, and rain, if we didn’t get him tonight, there might be nothing left but a piggy Popsicle by the morning. Mitchell, Sean, Jeff, me, and Toby set off for the boat launch determined to bag us a pig.
Once we got to the parking lot, we went into the brush and released Toby. “Go find Wilbur Boy!” I shouted, and off he went. Now, Toby was too dumb to understand English, but he knew what we wanted, because he picked up on Wilbur’s scent immediately. Next thing I knew, I heard Toby, Aroooo! Aroooo! Then I heard Wilbur Wreeeee! Wreeeee! as Toby chased him. I was standing in the tall weeds between the parking lot and the brush when Jeff yelled out “Here they come!” Wilbur shot past me before I could react, with Toby hot on his hooves. They headed out into the parking lot followed closely by Mitchell, Sean, Jeff, and me. The four of us spent what seemed an eternity chasing that son of a bitch, but in the open parking lot there was no place to corner him. We were all out there running around as if we were having a Chinese fire drill, but no one could get a hand on Wilbur. I could see that the pig was tiring, but so was Toby; meanwhile Mitch, Sean, Jeff, and I were gassed. I stood there panting, watching Toby still chase Wilbur, when Wilbur made a cut towards me. “I got you now you son of a bitch!” I thought. I lunged for him, but all I came up with was gravel, and a few scrapes. Wilbur ran past me, and back into the weeds.
By this time, even Toby was gassed. The sun had set a while ago, and now it was almost dark. We all looked at each other dejectedly, “Fuck him!” I blurted, “Let him spend the night out here, I hope he freezes his little piggy ass off tonight!” We were all pissed off, and spent, but at least we knew where Wilbur was. We'd be back.