Monday, 23 January 2006

Tearaway Tamworths

Tamworths have got something of a reputation. I believe that they are a fairly primitive breed, with all the natural instincts that brings, and little of the softening of domestication about them. Known as flighty pigs, independent, and the Houdinis of the swine world, a few years ago a pair of Tamworths made national headlines for over a week when they escaped and trundled this way and that through the Wiltshire countryside, eluding capture for a considerable period of time. Yesterday morning I was making my way down the list of weekend chores when I heard my name being bellowed from the neighbouring farm. I downed tools and shot off to find out what was wrong and after a panted explanation of a new arrival Tamworth weaner having escaped up the road, we set off to head it back where it was wanted. Five of us failed in this task, and just as we were about to regroup, the alarm was raised that its sister had now also managed to leap from its new pen and disappear in the opposite direction. Throughout the day the few cars and tractors coming passed announced sightings of one or other of the ginger pigs and by dusk one had been recaptured and securely placed in its pen. Utterly exhausted by its escapade, it sank into fresh straw and fell fast asleep. As of writing, the sister is still out and about, but as our neighbours are currently the only folks round here with pigs I guess that it will be drawn back by piggish noises and smells and the desire for breakfast. Stop press! Great news - after 36 hours apart the Houdini twins are now reunited.