Today’s guest post comes from Dan in Woodbury.
While driving to my local health club in Woodbury last Saturday morning around 7:00 AM, I saw a small SUV pulled over to the right shoulder on a side street. In addition to the couple getting out of the vehicle, I noticed a blue barrel in the middle of the street, and standing next to the barrel was a Wessex Saddleback.
OK, I didn’t know it was a Wessex Saddleback at the time. But I did recognize it as a pig! About 250 pounds worth!
I thought “Now there’s something you don’t see every day!”
I was baffled by the sight of an animal so clearly out of its element, so like anyone suddenly faced with an unexpected and incomprehensible sight, I proceeded to go about my business.
(I am now reminded a scene from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is the monologue of a poor sperm whale, called into existence against all probability several miles above an alien planet, trying to come to terms with its existence as it falls. “Ahhh! Whoa! What’s happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by ‘who am I’? Okay, okay, calm down, calm down, get a grip now…” The philosophical whales last thought was “Hello Ground!”)
I pulled a U turn and returned to the scene of the porcine puzzle to find the couple snapping pictures of the dazed pig standing in the middle of the road next its transport. They told me they had called 911, and as we waited for the authorities to arrive, a neighbor from across the street joined the three of us in collectively corralling the pig to a grassy strip of land in front of a group of townhomes. After locating some rope in my truck to use as a leash, the neighbor (I’ll call him Joe) and I lassoed the pig. Which it didn’t care for at all! Having not been raised on a farm, I now know the full meaning of “squealed like a pig”. The struggling creature managed to squirm thru the noose until the rope was firmly cinched around it waist. Thankfully the pig calmed down after I slipped the rope off the hind quarters. It was at this time Joe and I noticed the couple had driven away, leaving the two of us on pig duty.
Another 10 minutes past before a Woodbury Community Service Officer (CSO) pulled up alongside us. I believe his first words were “Is this your pig?” Joe informed the CSO that he had heard a clunk and looked up to see a small red pickup with a loud exhaust driving away. He surmised the barrel had just fallen out of the back of the pickup when he noticed the pig exit the barrel. After supplying what facts we could, Joe and I paused for the CSO to make the next move. We both could tell the young man was not prepared for this job, so after sufficient time for the CSO to take the lead, Joe hatched a plan for him.
The CSO would use his catch pole to direct the pig into the barrel, door held open by Joe, while I pushed. It took a little effort on everyone’s part, but we were able to walk the pig in and then stand the barrel upright, thus preventing the ham from escaping. After using some rope to secure the door once again, we asked the CSO to go get his truck. With three of us lifting, we were able to “load ‘er up” and secure the barrel in the back of the CSO’s pickup. Joe and I then returned to our lives, as the CSO and pig headed into whatever process suburban Woodbury has for handling stray farm animals.
It wasn’t until I was in the health club locker room that my nose detected a considerable amount of “substance” smeared up and down my left leg. Yup, I smelled like a pig farm. I would have some explaining to do when I got home.
After relaying the story to a friend, he forwarded this article from the Woodbury Patch, which did a pretty good job reporting the event. I was pleased to be credited for my work as one half of the famed public service duo “two citizens”. The Pioneer Press account, however, mysteriously shifted the event four hours into the future and erased my act of good samaritanship entirely, nullifying not only the time spent and ingenuity employed, but completely missing the repulsive sacrifice of my trouser leg.
That is why I have decided to tell my story. It is exactly this kind of slight that propels a shy person to step into the light, forcing him to become a bit of a publicity hog.
What the strangest thing you’ve found on the side of the road?