Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It was just a little task ...

that almost turned into a nightmare.

I was in the city all day yesterday working. Getting home at about 7:30 PM I changed quickly so we could inject "Fred" with an antibiotic. I had figured that his ongoing lameness is probably due to swine arthritis. So myself, the boys and Mrs. Curley went off to inject "Fred". Mrs. Curley was handling the needle and swab outside the pen, two boys and myself were inside. We would catch "Fred"; they would hold him down while I got the needle from Mrs. Curley.

Our gate has two latches: the bottom one really secures the gate, and the top one is sort of insurance-but not adequate by itself. You can't latch the bottom one from inside, so when I entered the pen, I put the top latch on only and thought nothing of it.

Now Duroc is "Fred's" pen-mate, and he is a bit skittish. He's never warmed to us. Well, as we are chasing "Fred" around, Duroc is running around the pen. He finally gets to the gate, pushes on it, and the top latch comes undone. Before Mrs. Curley can close that gate, Duroc is out and wandering on the edge of the woods.

Now this is close to sunset and Duroc (see picture) is brown-we'd never find him in the woods in the dark. I really thought he was gone.

We gathered our "team" and slowly tried to lure him back to the pen with watermelon. But he'd have nothing of it. He had found greener pastures.

Over the next hour and a half we chased him-but mostly followed him around the property. A couple times we had him cornered, but he slipped through our fingers-one time ripping a gaping hole in one of the goat fences. (Who knows what the 3 youngest were doing in the house this whole time!)

Finally, (I think he was tired) we got him cornered between a fence and the feed house. We got the cage I move pigs in and dropped it over him. It wasn't quite that simple: things were in the way-but we secured our position and then slowly moved logs and other things out of the way until the cage sat squarely on the ground around him.

Then we walked Duroc in the cage back to his pen, some pulling, some pushing. Whereupon we gave "Fred" his shot. Finally we made temporary repairs to the goat pen and called it a night (10:00 PM).

There are many side stories and details that are left out. (Including a couple pleas to St. Francis) As I was saying goodnight to Number 3 son, he commented how fun it had been. I looked at him dubiously, and he clarified: "It may not have been too fun at the time, but looking back on it, it was; and it makes a good story." I concur with that assessment. (Although I wonder how many of these animal misadventures any one family can have in a lifetime?)

Today we move the Big One (last of the original 3) to the butcher-Oh No!

Oremus pro invicem!


Anonymous said...


Looks like Fred is doing well. Have you tried the light for the Chickies?

Jim Dorchak

Jim Curley said...

Jim-I haven't (been so busy chasing pigs) but will by the weekend.

Anonymous said...

1) Matthew was right, it is a good story.
2)You are right you have a lot of good stories.
3) We both have a publisher in the family.
PS. Why the wxsucvdo below?

Jim Curley said...

Frances-Great to hear from you-I have tried to email you, but my emails keep getting sent back.

The wxsucvdo is a security measure to guarantee the writer is human and not a spam-generating computer.

We need to talk soon - Love, Jim