Liz appeared in the door way of the stable; water dripping from the brim of her hat. She was brandishing a shavings fork.
“Can you help me? she gasped.
Taken by surprise I said, “of course,” zipped up my jacket and stepped out of the warm stable I was mucking out into sheets of driving rain.
I followed her at a jog.
We had run half way to the road when Liz started gesturing.
Cars were slowing and stopping. A traffic jam had already formed and a barboured man was directing the traffic. In fact, there was quite a commotion.
Liz still couldn’t speak.
The barboured, traffic man asked, “Have you lost a pig?”
“A pig?” I looked at Liz, who echoed, “a pig.”
The barboured, traffic man looked at me expectantly, as if anticipating me to claim responsibility for the pig.
“It’s most likely from the farm across the road,” was the best I could offer, nodding towards the fields full of sties opposite.
The farm was not very far away, but I had never touched a pig in my life and I wasn’t sure Liz had either.
How had it got out? But more to the point how were we going to get it back?
“Here piggy, pig. pig, ” cried Liz.
The pig took no notice and rooted in the undergrowth by the side of the road.
“Here piggy, pig, pig,” cried Liz, waving her shaving fork. She moved forward. The pig ran off and then rooted in the undergrowth by the side of the road.
We checked the hedge to see if the pig had come through it. There wasn’t an obvious hole in it. That was good – she must have come through the gate. Though, I’m not sure that was actually good.
“Here piggy, pig, pig!”
Meanwhile the pig rooted in the undergrowth around the tree trunks.
The barboured, traffic man with frantic arms intermittently slowed or stopped irate drivers who thought 60 mph on flooded country roads was acceptable.
Or they did until they encountered the barboured, traffic man.
Meanwhile, Liz and I attempted to guide the pig along the road back to the gate.
Liz waved her shavings’ fork and I wiggled a fallen branch and we both ran to position ourselves to keep the pig moving forwards in the direction of the farm.
In the driving rain, Liz and I slowly edged the pig out of the undergrowth and guided her along the road and back through the gates to the pig farm.
No sooner had we guided the pig to the road, than she dashed back to the hedge and continued rooting.
Liz had clearly never touched a pig either.