The pigs had their way with the elder tree in the end. On Sunday morning, we discovered that it had been well and truly felled. Apart from the quite remarkable strength that must have been used to perform the feat (if only we had a pig cam – we could have witnessed the event), what was most surprising about this strange vision was how shallow the victim’s roots were, though I’ve since discovered this is a common feature of the species. We’d been determined to preserve the tree due to it being an attractive feature in the garden, the shelter it provided to porcine residents and their feeders, and that we had always intended to pick its flowers to make cordial and bubbly. Our attempts to safeguard it included electric fencing and posts strung with strands of barbed wire, but the porkers simply stepped through any defence that came in their way.
The mightiness of the pigs is the theme of the week as Skinny pig (formerly misnamed Bully) continues to flex his muscles by turning his ark a full 180 degrees on a regular basis. James is baffled as to how he achieves this in the knee-deep mud that surrounds it.
We think both instances of brute force are probably down to boredom, sadly – the trio have well and truly cleared their run of vegetation and seem to be looking for other forms of amusement. It won’t be long before they head off to the abattoir, but James is worried that their next project might be trying to escape – not only had Naughty and Porky knocked over the elder, but they’d burrowed under part of the fence. So, in a belt and braces approach, he might be running a strand of electric wire around the bottom of the boundary this Sunday, just in case!
No doubt, smallholders up and down the country have similar chores in mind for the day of the rest. Whatever your plans for the weekend – enjoy!