I heard a noise when I woke up this morning,
thought it was one of the dogs
nestling into their cool-soil place
next to the house.
But when I took my first look at the day
through the bedroom window,
I saw two pigs
rooting in the garden-in-process,
the plot that is being prepared
to be a vegetable garden.
Their snouts were buried
in the deep straw covering the space
where a microbial community is gathering.
I know these pigs.
There is more than one way
to prepare soil for a garden
and these two are on loan to us
to root out weeds in a penned plot
up the road at the Pond House,
before minerals and organic matter
are introduced
to invite the building of a microbial community.
But what in the world
are they doing half a mile
from their pen?
How did they get here?
And why did they come here
rather than head north
or east
or bypassing this plot and going further south?
Thankfully,
they must have been drawn to the straw
and alpaca manure covering the garden
and stopped to root in it
along their big adventure.
I called Ann,
accusing her of putting pigs in my garden plot.
She thought I was kidding
about the pigs—
which she has named Sugar and Spice—
and when she realized I was not kidding,
that the two
were really in my garden,
she went into flabbergast mode.
She brought some of their food
and we decided to lure them
into the animal barn here at the Farm House.
They happily followed us,
so we decided to try to walk them all the way
back to their penned plot at the Pond House.
And they did!
We gave them a tiny (for a large pig) bite a couple of times,
when they got tired or distracted,
after which they loudly squealed for more;
and they followed us,
stiff legs plodding,
big ears flapping,
the half mile
home.
It was an amusing sight
(You get to enjoy your imagination;
in the flurry of activity,
I failed to grab my camera.)
to see two pigs (and Joe, a perplexed dog)
following us down the country road.
They got lots of food
when they got to their pen.
And we re-secured the fence
they had pushed open
while scratching their backs.
Life that includes animals
is rich.

The Pigs, in a penned garden plot at the Pond House,
prior to their Big Adventure