Updated: Jul 1, 2021
The day started out nice and slow, and the piggies got to roam the property while I trimmed some trees. My mom ("Nana" to all the grandkids and grand-animals) even brought a treat of cantaloupe to the fence for them, which they thoroughly enjoyed. I spent a little extra time tackling a large limb on the mini lemon tree (I didn't even know that was a thing!) and came back to check on the pigs. I didn't see them anywhere. I called and called and called and started frantically checking all of their favorite spots. Nothing. Panic started to set in. I was on foot (my first mistake) so I was having to cover a lot of ground (we have 5 acres) and my voice was already getting hoarse from yelling. I only had my voice as a tool to call them (my second mistake); they are more responsive to the shaking of the cookie jar [yes, an actual large tub of animal cookies -- it's one of their favorite treats, and the sound is distinctive and loud].
I finally climbed to the top of a rock at the highest point on our property for a better vantage point. I spotted them! Just as I suspected, they had ESCAPED. They were having a grand ole time visiting our neighbors to the North, The Sebestas and Rocking K Ranch. They were saying hello to one of their horses along the fence that lines the street. The piggies had managed to push their way through a loosely chained double gate (my third mistake -- ok, I guess this was my first real mistake/oversight) and decided to go on a big adventure to meet the neighbors. I continued trying to call them, but again, I had no treats or anything to entice them with. And, they were in the middle of the street! While we and our two neighbors live at the end of the street, there's still a decent amount of traffic, as Rocking K Ranch is a boarding and lesson facility. They were also having a great time nibbling on fresh weeds and exploring new territory, so they weren't interested in coming back home anytime soon. If they went down the street much further, they would've made it INTO the Sebestas' property, as their front gate was open; they have an even bigger property at 10 acres! I finally got Falkor's attention and he started following me. They seem to get excited when I run, so I started jogging back toward my gate. Once I started jogging and Falkor started following, so did Meg and Michael. Whew!
Now, I just needed to get them to follow me back through our gates and NOT down the street which really would have opened up a whole other can of worms! Miraculously, they did. I quickly closed the gate behind us and escorted them to their pen. BAD PIGGIES!!! Thankfully, they've already learned who momma is and are pretty sweet and loyal. Pigs' Big Day Out had a happy ending and the gate is properly secured now!