we had actually traded that steel box of scary for a big trailer of luxury...and hopefully, much more secure than the last time. churchill isn't wild or mean. he was just scared. i probably would have mustered superhuman strength too to get out of a steel shaped coffin hurdling down the road at what felt like mach ten.
anyways, feeling a growing sense of confidence about our new plan in the big spacious trailer as time got closer to the inevitable, we tromped back out to the barn with authority in our boots. patty o joined us for the spectacle. all the chickens gathered to peek through the cracks in the wall, all ready for the big show. we gradually took apart the grand fortress we had built the night before to keep him safely tucked into bed. it looked like we we holding a demon possessed something in our self-contructed penitentiary (they don't teach you that on pinterest!).
the plan was to back the trailer right up to the door of the barn, close the gaps with wood and ease him on with the lure of fancy food like banana peels & good old goat's milk. pat was to hold the stall open and block the gap, mom & i were to coax him on with our charm & wit. steve was to stand just outside of the trailer, in case churchill somehow muscled his way out either of the sides as well as run for any last minute crazy ideas.
well, we sweet talked him up and down to no avail. we left trails of food onto the trailer, just out of reach so he would have to step up to get it. he was uneasy. it could have been the sound of the noisy contractors chainsawing and banging away behind us or the constant helicopter drills landing and taking off at the nearby military base. or the chickens heckling him from outside or it could have been the ever fresh memory of yesterday. who knows. but he wasn't buying our most generous offers. we gave him back scratches in all his favourite spots. i even pulled out some pretty awesome baby massage moves (i knew they would come in handy someday... never in a thousand years thought i'd be using them on a pig but c'est la vie). he was thankful for the massages but not enough to get on the trailer. after an hour of whispering sweet nothings into his ear, i reached for his love language.... bread... a pig after my own heart. i dipped it in goat's milk and paraded it around the top half of the trailer like it was champagne. he just looked up at me, with those sweet hazel eyes full of pity for a woman who would go to such lengths for a mere pig. i looked down at my phone and we had a whole 8 minutes before i had to leave to go get the kids from school. my mom reminded me of an old tarp trick we had seen on pinterest. i didn't recall the tarp trick exactly, but in a bit of a hurried panic pretended that i did and ripped a blue tarp out of a pile of construction built up against the house. i marched with gusto back into his pen & pulled out the tarp behind him and started flapping & shouting & flailing like a lunatic, loudly proclaiming sounds which have never had such utterance before in an attempt to scare the life out of the stubborn hog. it didn't work. i did scare everyone else though. after my grand production, steve poked his head around the trailer and matched by the confused looks on both pat, mom & churchill's face, said "um, what are you doing?". "i thought this is what i was supposed to do with the tarp" i said, meekishly, suddenly realizing that wasn't the tarp trick they were thinking of. i recovered the small scraps left of my dignity, folded the tarp into a tarp wall and with mom's assistance, walked behind churchill as a united effort and he trotted right up onto the trailer without incident in a matter of seconds. i secretly don't think it was the tarp wall trick that convinced him, but sheer respect for a woman sold out to her pig. we slammed those doors fast and buckled them tight. and we all let out an enormous sigh. steve pulled forward slowly, so as not to spook churchill to busting clear through the wall again, only to realize the van was stuck. we had unwisely tethered the trailer to our mini van and that poor van, after trips with bucks and goats and chickens, not to mention the four kids, had seen better days. we still had our balled winter tires on and they weren't fans of the barnyard muck. steve quickly mcgyvered a plan of using the old jeep to tow the van that was towing the trailer. it worked and he was on his way... with his rifle this time, just in case we had any highway emergencies. the trailer swayed back and forth, with churchill's uneasiness the whole way but steve made it across the finish line and united churchill with his new harem of sows.
still ever so nervous, i reluctantly left to go and grab the kids from school. it wasn't until i was stepping out my car next to professional parents stepping out of their spotless suvs, that i realized i was in poopy coveralls, smelly rubber boots and yet again pig plop splatter all over my face and then it hit me, that churchill was gone forever. that stubborn but loveable pig was gone and my heart hurt for just a moment.
after all, he really was "some pig".