“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Of pigs & cats & crime

I understand.

Outside right now is so much more pleasant than inside. The rain has stopped, the sun is out, owls are in the trees, mockingbirds have nests, the cardinals are flirting with each other, and apparently we have pigs running wild through the neighborhood.

It is a story I laughed at when first told, a story I first heard from N. I don't mention N very much - she lives catty-cornered across the street; her backyard bumps into Mary's driveway. We are all very helter-skelter around here - only 3 houses actually on this block, others facing other streets, but next to us all anyway. And like I said, N's backyard bumps into Mary's driveway, which means that her backyard is part of my out-the-front-door view, along with Mary's yard. It's unfenced and green with grass and there's a giant tulip tree and a paperwhite extravaganza each spring and the tree at the foot of Mary's driveway is home to at least one raccoon - I've seen him scuttle into the hollowed out limb at the top, peering over at me to see how much of his secret I've learned.

The neighborhood is also home to a bit of crime. It's just the way it is, and I have no sympathy for these criminals, but that's the way it is, and you learn to live with it. (I promise I am getting to the pig part of this story, but it is a story after all, and I am a Southerner, and a Texan, and the entire story must be told.) I have had my house broken & entered, and things stolen; I have had someone try to enter very early one morning while I was home, his hairy white legs visible at the front door - he'd picked the lock, but couldn't get past the deadbolt. I have had my vehicle vandalized more than once. A long-long-ago ex-girlfriend of Robert's had her car stolen while it was parked outside, by spoiled kids who couldn't drive a manual transmission & left the car a few blocks away at a bingo parlor, the clutch ruined, but the bottle of wine in the backseat still unopened. When Mary was alive, her house was burgled the day she left for a trip to Russia - she'd been gone only 10 minutes - a quick trip to the store for last minute items - but that's all it took. The guy who used to live on the corner - on Mary's other side - came home one day to find 3 kids in his house, and when he confronted them, one crashed through a glass door, fleeing the scene. There is always something, and it is almost always kids, and here is where I could talk forever about the terrible parenting skills behind these kids, the excuses made, the expectation that someone else is responsible to teach them ethics & morals & personal responsibility, but I won't - you all know anyway. It takes a village, they say, to raise that child, but God forbid if the village decides to actually punish him. So anyway. Back to the pigs.

Bicycles have been stolen recently - Rodney & Amber on one side of us, his a very, very, very expensive bike, hers not too bad either, a few hundred dollars. I've had a camera go missing. N had a bicycle disappear. And maybe here I should mention that N is in law enforcement, as is her boyfriend, and there is usually a police vehicle of some kind parked at her house. A couple of weeks ago, there wasn't, and N & C were awakened by their dogs - someone had been at the door, and when they looked out the window, a kid was shining a flashlight into their cars, trying to jimmy a lock on one of them. By the time they were dressed & out, he'd skedaddled. The next night they were waiting for trouble, which, of course, didn't come, but in the middle of the night, an odd noise awakened them again, but this time, what to their wondering eyes should appear but, standing in Mary's driveway, a dog and a small pig. She swore it was true. He swore it was true. I laughed - like a Disney movie? I asked. They were traveling together, out seeking adventures? It seemed too silly to be true, even in our neighborhood.

But. Last night. Outside in the yard, trying to get my cat to come in, I heard feet paddling quickly through the creek, a snuffling noise. It was dark down in the creek, and as I headed into the house for a flashlight, I heard more feet splashing fast fast, more snuffling, and, I swear this is true, squealing. Squealing! By the time I got my flashlight, no sign of anything.

So it looks like pigs.
At least it sounds like pigs.
No wonder my cat doesn't want to come in at night.
There is stuff going on out there.
Who'd'a thunk it?
i swear i swear this is true


  1. this post is

    deeply cool.

    it makes me feel so much better about my break-in - seeing that it is something that happens all over the world for different reasons.

    and then the pig and the hound. they just blew my mind. i love to think about them roaming the streets on a mission of their own, talking about things we might not understand even if we could understand their language.

  2. Hele - I hope they are like Disney adventurers, and if so, that they have tremendous amounts of fun!

    As for the thievery - it is not fun, but I have to admit, I never took it personally. I don't know why; I know others who have had this happen & they did. I just don't understand why someone thinks it is okay to do such a thing. I'm glad this helped a bit.

    :) Debi

  3. a simply splendid story...thanks for sharing...

  4. i hate to hear of all the thievery but i love the idea of the dog and the pig adventuring together.

  5. That must have been terrifying! Being at home, knowing someone is trying to break in!

    And a pig! I wonder where he came from. I like to think that he has escaped from certain doom at some distant pig farm and found his way into your magical neighborhood knowing it was the perfect place to hide out. A real life Babe story.


  6. Oh Lord, girl, the pigs are loose! I wonder if they're wild pigs? I wonder why so much vandalism goes on over there in your neighborhood? Why do they seem to single it out. I may be sticking my own finger in my eye by saying this (like not knocking on wood), but we seem to be a quiet little neighborhood over here. Mostly the elderly. And bothered very infrequently. The last vandalism I heard of was my across the alley neighbor had had a moss-shaped monkey hanging in her front tree for many years. And just a few months ago, it was gone. We were kind of shaken by that. It was as though that monkey actually lived in that tree, though it wasn't real. And someone kidnapped him. Wonder where he's hanging now?

  7. True, the crime isn't personal. It's someone down on their luck and it's a crime of opportunity, right? It's not YOU!
    And the piggies. Those wayward piggies.
    Rogues...the lot of them. :)
    Here to wish you the happiest of weekends on your glorious beautiful street...(there's no place like home, is there?)

  8. I loved this line -"I've seen him scuttle into the hollowed out limb at the top, peering over at me to see how much of his secret I've learned."

    Funny story :)

    I've heard that dogs and pigs are similar as pets.

  9. Of course you have a live action version of a Disney movie in that magical neighborhood of yours.

  10. Great story of the porcine prowler! But traveling with a dog??? That is too funny!
    They are very intelligent animals.

  11. Sara - Is this not so strange? Yes, strange & splendid! :)

    SYW - Me too. I hope the little pig has a knapsack across his back where they keep all their treasures! LOL!

    Jaime - It was not fun. I scared him off, but had I known the dead bolt was going to hold, I would've had the police here sooner. Next time I'll know. And I love you pig story. I hope he's having a ball! :)

    Brenda - I have emailed you my theory. We also have a lot of wrecks. Just a bit ago, right up on College - the house at Dobbs & College came within inches of having a Suburban pushed through its front windows. A big old sedan ran the stop sign & plowed right into it. No one hurt too bad, but the sedan has a lot of damage. It further strnghens my resolve to hang on to my SUV until the gov't pries it from my fingers. LOL!

    Gillian - You are too kind. I'd like to beleive it's someone down on their luck, but it's not. It's just criminals, kids or no. And I am loving the idea of rogue, wayward piggies squealing through the neighborhood. Like a gang. I just hope they don't turn to crime!

    Valaine - I look for that raccoon every day. He stays out past dawn & can be seen in the early morning light, trying to get home before he gets caught!

    Relyn - Isn't is just too funny? I so love this neighborhood. There is always something going on.

    Paula - It's great, isn't it? And of course, now we are all on the lookout!

    :) Debi


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