Meet the swine of Baldwin Acres.
Porky, female pig number two.
Beans. The only male swine at Baldwin Acres. He’s pretty happy to have two women keeping him company.
Ollie. She went missing at Easter. Although the person who found her had seen our plea for our lost pig, she decided to keep her. At the time they named her Oliver and then found out she is a girl. We call her Ollie.
It was Easter Day 2015 as we introduced our two Kune-Kune/AGH piglets to our grandchildren, when the female pig bolted out of the pen into the blackberry bushes. We immediately set live animal traps and sent lost pig posts out on social media, but to no avail. A few days later someone posted on our town’s Facebook page that a little black pig had been seen over by the local Cemetery. My husband and I jumped in the car and headed to the graveyard. We rattled the slop pail and called for her, but she alluded us, or had already been snagged by a woman who decided she could just keep our little pig because she liked her. Disappointed we headed for home. Before she ran off, we had named the two piglets Pork and Beans. Reluctantly, we bought another black piglet one from the same litter and named her Pork 2.
We didn’t hear anything more about our little pig, and because the homestead is busy and life and death is a reality, we thought maybe Pork 1 had become dinner to some coyote or bear or cougar. No way did we suspect a nieghbor had found her, seen our lost pigs posts and simply decided to ignore them.
Until July 4th.
On July 4th I got a notice via Facebook that a little black pig had been found and kept at a horse ranch on the same road as us. Could it be? Pork 1? We called the ranch and were told that yes, they had found a pig, and yes, she was a black female. They had found her over by the cemetery, but they really liked her. So, yes we could come see her but she would not be coming back to us.
Further notification from the lady who had initially informed me revealed that the pig was being allowed to wander and riders were concerned she may be cougar prey. A flurry of events happened in a short amount of time. My son jumped on the ranch’s Facebook page and said he was so happy they had found his parents pig and he would be happy to come and get her. A few more of the ranch’s riders contacted me and said the pig had been there since the end of April/beginning of May and also that the owner had seen our posts (although she told some of them that she had not seen the lost pig posts). I tried to find out information about the ranch via our town Facebook page and then was banned from the page. (The moderator actually said, “how dare you try to use us to solve your legal problems). What?!?!
Small town drama ensued. People were very angry that the little pig had been kept from her rightful owners. Even the police officer, yes, the police were involved because the lady who by now I considered a pig thief, called the police on my son because she said she felt threatened. (Because he said he would come and get his parents pig).
Because it was a long weekend, and my birthday, we opted to file a police report online and then left for my birthday fishing trip. The online report was rejected because we had a suspect. I was directed to call the police. The Port Orchard police department was, for the most part, very helpful. Although the hint of disbelief in the deputy’s voice that we were willing to go to small claims court over this was a little insulting. The thief offered $150.00 to replace the pig, while insisting , ‘it’s not your pig.”….she told the police that we were going to eat the pig. Remember she had no idea who were are (and we have never eaten any of our livestock, but, if we did,. that would be our business). We rejected the $150.00 offer. By now, we were standing on the principal of this nieghbor stealing our property and not owning it.. Finally, we told the police officer who was acting as the moderator, that we would pay for a DNA test. He presented that to the thief adding that he thought it was a fair and just way to go, and her whole demeanor changed. She became angry and told him , “If they want the pig, they can come and get the pig.” So our son and his wife went to get the pig because we were three hours away. The thief demanded the police be there because, she said we were ‘unreasonable.” Yes. WE were the unreasonable ones. ?!
I wasn’t there for the attempted capture of the pig, but from the description given, the woman was callous and mocking, video taping my son and daughter in law’s failed attempts at getting the pig, while occasionally calling the pig over to her. She said more than once, ‘want to catch a pig? Here’s how you catch a pig,” and then the pig would run off. (She seemed to take delight in the fact that the pig had ‘bonded’ to her and not my family, however, if she had done the right thing and answered our lost pig ads when she found the pig, the pig would not respond to her anymore than she did to my kids.)
Hearing how our children were treated we changed our plans and headed back. Our son and daughter in law felt like they had let us down because they couldn’t catch the pig, but we were glad that they left instead of subjecting themselves to the woman’s abuse.
When we got back home, we called on our son-in-law, our son, and I was going to accompany them, to get the pig. Communications and timing was off and I never did make it there. I think, though God may have kept me away. I’m not known for self control when my family is being abused. My son-in-law also brought five of our grandsons but made them stay in the car for safety.From what the men tell me, they got to the ranch and the woman was ready with her phone to video tape it all. She kept saying, “All I did was find a pig and take care of it.” SERIOUSLY? that’s the problem right there. We don’t live in a finders keepers world. You found the pig, then you ignored lost pig posts and decided you liked the pig and you kept the pig knowing the entire time it wasn’t yours.
What can be seen as a sort of unique justice, my son-in-law cornered the pig, my husband herded her into the dog kennel and closed the door. She shot out the side door and my son tackled her. He wheezed our, “I’ve got the pig.” YES!
My husband helped her back into the kennel, all the while soothing her, and comforting her and telling her it certainly didn’t have to be this way. it could have been solved a whole lot easier. The actions of this women are rather disconcerting, not only did she keep livestock that she never paid for and didn’t try to return it to it’s owners, although she had our information, she found out who had told me about the pig and kicked her and her horses off the property. This woman had worked with the ranch owner for a couple of years and was disheartened that she got booted out, but was also happy she had done the right thing in telling us where our pig was.
Ollie ( they had initially called her Oliver until they discovered she was a female, we call her Ollie) obviously has been grossly overfed but we can fix that. We were concerned that she might not get along well with her sister and brother, but it was only a matter of minutes, before they were all romping and running around the pen.
Ollie returned to us with a red dog collar on, so we bought Beans a green one and Porky a pink one. Today, on a rather hot day, they took turns soaking in the wading pool and rooting out weeds. Before finally snoozing together in the shade.
I believe the swine at Baldwin Acres will be just fine.