The day started out wonderful. I was on track to have the entire house cleaned by the afternoon. I had decided that since things were going so well according to my plans that I would sit and read with each child. Jacob had asked me first to read with him. I had just sat down in our almost clean living room. It was nice to enjoy the Christmas tree and the room with everything in its place. Before we started reading, I remembered that I had sweet potatoes on cooking and I needed to turn off the stove. I went into the kitchen to do that task and I glanced out the window. I was looking at nothing in particular, and that is when I saw the issue. All four of our pigs were in the cow pasture which is open to all 17 acres of our farm. I sounded the alarm and each and every child available responded to the call. My husband and older boys were gone that day. How did the pigs know to plan that one? I quickly looked in my frig for any leftovers that the pigs might come for, but it was clean. I grabbed the sweet potatoes that I had just cooked for my casserole and ran out the door. We started to try to lure the pigs back into the pen. Jacob was laughing and said that I needed the camera because we had every animal on the place after us with our buckets of feed, but NO pigs. I told Hope to start feeding all the other animals in their usual places to keep them out of my hair. Whenever an animal other than a pig came my way, I yelled at Hope to give them more feed. I chased, I gently talked, I yelled, I led and quickly learned I needed to follow instead...this went on for an hour and a half. I ran up and down a steep hill so many times that I was gasping for air. The little pigs led me to the bee hives. You know I hate the bees, and I swore I wouldn't go by them again. I am the one that gets stung even in the winter. I found myself standing right beside the hives, and I was anything but happy. I called Michael at work to let him know his entire herd of pigs were heading for the hills. He told me what to do to catch them...it had ALL already been done. (I had even opened the basement door when they were headed that way hoping they would just walk right into our basement. I had opened the front door when the little darlings were on our front porch. I was inviting them into our clean living room. You know I was REALLY tired of chasing them by this point if I was trying to herd them into our home). I told Michael to wait and I would try again. We did manage to get the little darlings back into their pen. I quickly started repairs on the spot that I thought they had escaped. While I was watering the chickens, I looked back at the barn and every last pig was out again. My breathing hadn't returned to normal yet, and I was going to have to chase again!! I went into the house and called Michael. He informed me that he was almost home. (This made me feel so special. My husband knew I was having trouble and without being asked he came home from work to help me. I know he wanted the pigs back home, but I also know he did it because I was getting frustrated with the entire situation. This gift of love was way better than roses at the time)! After another hour of chasing, we had the pigs contained. All together I spent 3 hours of that day chasing pork around our farm...that was NOT at all in my plans. Needless to say, the house cleaning never was finished that day. I was tired and decided it didn't really matter if all the chores were completed. It could wait for tomorrow when I would have a new set of plans.
Later in the evening Michael asked me just how much we fed the other animals during the Great Escape. I told him I really didn't have a clue, but I was sure it was a lot. Apparently we had strung so much corn through the pasture we had every dove on this side of the mountain attracted to our farm. Michael informed me that our horse was laying down looking ill. He doesn't lay down very often and he was concerned that he had eaten too much feed. I spent the rest of the afternoon praying that I hadn't killed all the rest of the animals by overfeeding. I am happy to say that all farm animals here are doing well. The good part of the afternoon was that I became very intimate with all of our cows. We bonded together that day. I named the black cow in between my runnings, and she responded well to me. When she sees me now, she heads my way. I know that she liked the feed I kept giving her, but since we aren't going to eat her I decided we could have a nice relationship.
I wish I had pictures to share from the Great Chase, but I was a little to occupied to be shooting pictures.
grace and peace,