Los Chanchitos

Madeline Campbell - Ecuador

May 21, 2012

(This story happened sometime in November. I’m sharing it now.)

Okay. So every morning my mom and sister leave about an hour to a half hour before I do to go to work. We bought 5 piglets from our neighbors yesterday and it happens that the bars on the cage door are just slightly large enough for them to squeeze through. We fixed this by wiring a piece of board to the door so they couldn’t get through. We thought this would do. … This morning as I was in my room getting dressed I heard a bunch of pig squeals from a direction where there should not have been pig squeals. I ran outside to find the two smallest of the five pigs running around the yard, digging in the dirt and in our garden and eating things off the ground, as pigs do. There are two identical doors on the pig cage and my sister and I had only thought to cover one. (Smart!)

As I realized my stupidity, my brain kicked into gear and I remembered I should probably try to catch them. This is an impossible task because little piggies run very fast, especially when they suspect you’re trying to grab them. The only way I could even touch them was to wait behind a tree until they started digging in the moist rainforest floor, faces half covered in mud, and pounce. Unfortunately, pigs are just as hard to hold as they are to catch, and every time I managed to grab one, it would let out an ear-piercing, horrifying squeal and wriggle (Daa-aamn them pigs be strong!) out of my grasp. By that time, I was an hour late for work and decided to give up and walk to Apuela. I figured that it would be an impossible task to catch them on my own and they would probably stay pretty close to the pig pen at least. I’m currently still in Apuela and haven’t yet gone home to see if the pigs are still there.

I returned to the house this afternoon to find the pigs still out and my grandmother trying to alert me to the fact that two pigs were out.  Together, we managed to catch them and return them to their pen. We then put another layer of wire over the door that had not previously been covered.  I went back in the house.  Thirty or so minutes later I heard the joyous piggy squeals again.  AGAIN? Again.  I went back out and inspected the door to see how they had gotten out.  I finally figured out they must have either shoved the wire aside as much as they could have or shoved the entire wood plank aside that was covering the first door and fastened with string.  I’m not sure which one it was but I fortified them both and we caught the pigs again…with some difficulty and once again returned them.

Later they got out again, but by that time my sister was home.  She didn’t bother trying to catch them. She very simply opened the cage door, threw some pig food inside and called the pigs.  They came. She closed the door.  And that was that.


Madeline Campbell