The Wilbur Chronicles.
Living with pigs.. from the pig's point of view.
Hi, my name is Wilbur, but that's not my fault. Some people have no imagination. I used to eat the neighbor's garden but they didn't like it and I got sent away. I was only 1.5 years old at the time. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to eat it. For a while I stayed at the rescue home in Wisconsin with a bunch of other pigs, and then I met Tracey and Neal. I let them give me some good belly rubs so they took me with them. Unfortunately they also grabbed 3 other pigs, Toots, Duke and Squeakers, and put us all in the same van together.
When I saw the new house I thought is was ok, except that the other pigs were still there. For a while, Toots thought she was boss. She's older than me and has a really big mouth. Once she bit my ear really, really hard and it bled all over the place. It hurt for a long time and looks really bad. I didn't care. I just kept pestering her. Then I grew a few more inches. Finally one day I bit her ear and just barely scratched it. She must have thought it hurt a lot because she started running away from me. Then I figured out that Toots is really just a big scaredy-cat baby and doesn't like to be chased, so I kept chasing her. Now I'm the boss pig around here.
Duke, that little runt, is no problem. Sure he's tried to be boss, but he's too small. Even Toots pushes him around a little. Squeakers is a mystery. In Wisconsin Squeakers was really mean to me so I was easy on her. Now, at the new home, they never let us near her. She must be really, really old. She walks SO SLOW. Now that I'm bigger I'm sure I can take her but I never get the chance. Mostly I just try to ignore her.
When itís warm out we stay outside all the time. The yard is like a big salad bar with Hostas, crabapples, apples, pears, acorns and flowers. Sometimes we can get in the vegetable garden and eat Tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe right off the vine. We eat everything till weíre full. Then we go back for seconds.
Thereís a small pond and where the water runs off we all make big mud pits to cool off. Toots goes off to hide somewhere, and who cares. Duke gets the dirtiest. They call him Dirty Duke. Weíre so dirty we have to sleep in the barn. Weíve tried to get in the house but they wonít let us in. Sometimes we get washed off with the hose. I donít mind, since Iím boss and canít let anything bother me. Duke doesnít like it too much. Toots HATES the hose. Who knows where she is? Thereís also a pool, and one time I did such a big spin-out and cannonball in the pool that there was hardly any water left in it. At night we get to sleep in the barn. Thereís lots of straw in there. Every night I pick a different bed just to let Toots and Duke know Iím still the boss. Thereís a fan in there but it still gets hot. On really hot days we get to go back in the house, but only after we are cleaned off.
When it gets cold, we go into the house. There's big glass room where we eat and sleep. We can poop in the litter box or go outside. Personally, I like the box. They get so happy when I use the box that I get a snack. I'm hungry a lot. In the winter, when we're inside ALL THE TIME, I get really, really bored. We don't go outside when itís extra cold, even if they ask us. But sometimes we go outside anyway if the humans go out first, and if thereís cookies involved. I like to go back in as soon as I can. The house is much nicer. If there's snow outside, thereís a cold room called the Pooper Palace that's kind-of outside and we can poop in there, but I still like to use the box so I can get the snack. I'm special.
In winter, a normal day here starts with the people getting up. I'm really hungry at this point and breakfast is the best part of day. When they come down the ramp with the bowls of food I'm so excited that I go up the ramp and chase them so they don't go back up. Then we have to wait for Squeakers to come down. She's so slow and she stops on the ramp to scratch on the edge and rub her butt on the wall. I think she does it on purpose. Meanwhile I'm starving! Tracey walks around the table a few times but won't put the food down until Squeakers is all the way down and it takes forever. I try to push Tracey to make her put the food down but we always wait for Squeakers. While Squeakers is walking to the Pooper Palace, then the food comes and it's fantastic. It always has pig chow, but always has other stuff like oatmeal, barley, eggs, banana, cut up apple (if it's not cut up I choke on it cause I eat too fast). Sometimes there are other fruits, yogurt or spinach. I'll eat almost anything. I also get some watery juice. Duke is kind of my friend so he eats next to me. He thinks he can take some of my juice but I won't let him until I'm done. I'm getting better at getting all of the juice so Duke gets nothing but drips. Since I'm boss, sometimes I can sneak in and get some of Duke's food. The people don't like that but I keep trying. Duke has learned to eat really fast. Toots is all the way across the room so I don't bother with her.
While we're eating Squeakers finally makes it to the Pooper Palace and her eating place. The door closes and no one can get in there until she's done. Then we're done eating and Toots gets a bowl of watery juice. I'd take it if I could but the people don't let me. I go over there anyway because I can get snacks for not getting Toot's juice. Duke comes too so I try to push him away, but mostly I'm thinking about the extra snacks. Then all of the food and juice is done and Squeakers is STILL EATING. I don't care because now comes the running snacks. Tracey makes us run up the ramp and all through the house trying to catch her so she can give us parts of Fig Newton cookies. This is the best part of the day, because of the snacks and running, but Duke always gets there first. Still, if I want to get any snacks I have to put up with him. Toots is usually too afraid to run the bedroom with us so she waits in the middle. I always chase her when I get the chance, just so she knows I'm still the boss. Duke usually remembers I'm boss, but I don't ever let him forget either.
Toots and Duke
When we're done in the pooper palace we can go in the basement. This is the best part of the day, since there are probably more snacks. There's a long ramp with a rubber pad that gets us down there. There's another litter box, which I use whenever I have to go. Sometimes I use it even if I don't have to, just to get the snack. Down here, we have a couple of beds and carpeting. There's pig chow and cheerios and Kix cereal that the people put it into balls. We roll the balls around and the food comes out of the holes, so we eat it. All of the balls are really mine but I can't keep track of all of them all of the time. Duke us usually with me so he gets some, but Toots sometimes gets to stay upstairs in the living room with a ball.
I think Squeakers gets grapes and almonds thrown to her while the people are eating. I wish it were me up there because grapes and almonds are the best ever.
Eventually, if the people go away during the day, we all sleep for a long time and wait for them to come home. We can sleep in the basement or in one of the two beds in the glass room. There's a couch in the glass room too and Toots usually goes up on it so I can't bother her. Duke goes up there sometimes, but only of Toots isn't up there.
When they finally get home I'm really excited about getting dinner because it's the best ever and I can't wait. Duke can't wait either so I let him make noise and rub his snout on the gate to make extra noise. Toots complains about being hungry too. I mostly let those two make all the noise since I'm the boss. When the food comes down I'm first, as always. After dinner there is more running through the house snacks. We don't usually see Squeakers for dinner. She stays in bed after Breakfast and doesn't get up until Breakfast. When Tracey and Neal eat, it's my turn for Grapes and almonds in the middle room. They throw them into a box that has big wrinkled pieces of paper. I have to get all of the paper out of the box in order to find the good snacks. This is my favorite time of the day.
Squeakers in the Busy Box
After dinner and the after dinner snacks and the pooping, we all get to lay around in the house with Tracey and Neal for scratches and belly rubs. They check our eyes, clean our ears, and clean out the wrinkles on my nose. We get foot rubs and more belly rubs. If they stop rubbing me, I make sure they know I want more. I have to get more than the others since I'm boss, so I sometimes chase Duke and Toots away, but sometimes I just don't care. When that's over, we all go to bed and wait for breakfast. I can't wait but I have to go to sleep so I try to gather all of the blankets and scraps of paper into my bed. Sometimes it's not enough, but Neal comes down and covers me with a blanket and I fall asleep dreaming of breakfast.
WILBUR CHRONICLES PART II
Hi, my name is Wilbur. Or is it? Tracey and Neal, the people, call me lots of different names. Sometimes itís Wilburt, Vilbur, or Milbur. A few times Neal called me Kilbur. (I guess I was being really mean to Duke. It's only that I need my space and he was in it.) Other times its Bilbur or Dilburt. Anyhow, they all sound the same to me if I can get a snack. But wait, Iím not done. Where do they come up with names like Fat-Gut, Butter-Ball, Pumpkin-Belly, Stinky, Dumpy, Blardo, and Wilbo and Bilbo? Whatever. They can call me almost anything except late for breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, or after dinner snacks. But in the summer they hardly call me for anything. Iíve got to rough it from breakfast to next breakfast. Still, thereís plenty to eat outside and Iíve been able to keep my belly in shape so I canít complain, even though I usually do.
I donít make much noise while complaining, but Iím sure they know ďThe LookĒ that I give them. I just stand there and give them ďThe LookĒ. I give it to the other pigs too. They know what that means and they stay clear of me. ďThe LookĒ is something Iím really good at. I just kind of stand there motionless, waiting, observing. It looks like Iím plotting something, or like Iím thinking ĒHmmmmm. Something is going to happen so you better watch out.Ē I used ďThe LookĒ on Starr. She never saw it coming. Or maybe she never really saw it. There must be something wrong with her. Maybe itís her big eyes that arenít properly folded into face ripples like mine. Oh! Starr is new here. Iím absolutely sure that her goal is to get all of my stuff. You know, of course, that since Iím boss everything here is mine. When she came last fall, they kept her on the other side of a new fence. I let Duke and Toots run up and down the fence trying to get at her. You should have seen it: Duke blustering at her like he was some kind of big shot. (As-if!) Duke looked a little crazy so I even stayed away from him. Toots wasnít much better. I kept my cool since Iím in charge. I just stood 10 feet away with ďThe LookĒ, which says ďHey, I donít have to fight you since Iíve already wonĒ.
Eventually, they let her out and she got to see "The Look" close-up. She came over to me and tried to make herself look big (yeah, right) and she tried to stand on my head like she was boss or something. Well that wasnít going to work for me, so I just pushed her off and chased her for a bit. I can only run for about 8 feet. She stayed away for a little bit, but later she tried it again. I've decided that I'll just chase her every chance I get for the next few years just so she gets the idea that Iím the boss around here. But sometimes I do let her get close since sheís so cute.
Well, where was I? Oh yeah, by the time all the leaves fell we'd eaten EVERYTHING. Apples from the tree, flowers, grass, hostas. All of the acorns are gone and the tomatoes too. The crab apples were history. But just when we thought is was all gone, it was pumpkin time! Every other day, even though it gets colder and colder, we get to eat WHOLE pumpkins. Theyíre my favorite. They throw a big pumpkin on the ground and break it up into pieces. Duke grabs his piece and takes it away so I donít get it. Everyone else gets some of my pumpkin but I canít be in 3 other places and still eat my piece too. I should know, because I always try and it never works.
Soon enough it starts getting colder outside. On extra cold nights we got to go in the house. Finally! I've been trying all summer for some time in the house. More and more we spend less time outside and when the pumpkins are gone and the ground gets frozen we finally get to go in the house for good! The house is warm and clean. There are beds and sheets and blankets and pillows instead of piles of hay and dirt floors. Every day we get belly rubs and eye cleaning and running through the house for snacks. Eventually a special day comes and we all get a special dinner with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, corn, pumpkin pie and other stuff. Stuffed is right!
They could call me anything and I wouldnít even care. Iím hungry again just thinking about it. Isn't it time to eat? Soon after that they bring a tree into the house. Itís a weird tree with all kinds of stuff on it. It looks like it would be good to eat. I tried it once but it didnít taste like anything. Iíd try again, but now I canít get to it. I donít care because I knew that thereís more special food to come.
When it's cold all the time and we can't go outside, we can use the litter box or we can go in the Pooper Palace. The Pooper Palace is kind of like being outside, like a green house, but for pooping. When they first built it, there were hostas in there, but we've eaten them. Now there's only dirt and straw. What a gyp. I'd much rather go in the litter box. Sometimes when they are cleaning up the litter box I make sure to push them out of the way so they can see me use the litter box because I get a snack if they see me use it. Sure, we get snacks for going in the Pooper Palace, but in the mornings and evenings it's cold out there. Still, on sunny days it gets to be like summer in there. Sometimes we spend a whole afternoon in there eating hay or sleeping. It makes me think of summer and I look at the door because I want to go outside. But when they open the door and I see the snow and feel the blast of cold air I shake my head, back up, turn around, and go back in the house. I go and check out the other outside door, just in case it has better weather, but it doesn't. When there's nothing else to do, we go back to bed and lie in the sun in the sun room. Winter seems so long and we all get a little bored.
Still, there are fun things to do. After breakfast we get toy balls that have snacks in them. When we push the balls around the snacks fall out and we eat them. Some of the balls have pig chow in them, but others have special things in them like cheerios, kibble, nuts or puffed corn. Sometimes there are even fruit snacks in them. I try to get all of the balls to myself. Other times we get surprise food, like apples, pie, cheese cake, or a peppermint. While Tracey and Neal are eating breakfast or dinner we bother them incessantly. They throw carrots, grapes, or other snacks into the busy box filled with paper. It's really fun rooting through all that paper to find the snacks. Paper is fun for lots of reasons. When they roll out a big piece of brown paper it's really fun to grab it and spin around or run with it into the other room. (To watch Wilbur with his brown paper click this link:Shredding it up and making spitballs is fun too. And at the end of day we can stuff it into our beds. It's also fun to steal the paper from someone else's bed. I've had some big beds of paper!
After dinner snacks we all get some more belly rubs and attention. After that all that I'm really tired.
At night, when the lights go out and Iím in my bed covered with blankets and surrounded with pillows and paper, I fall asleep and dream of being outside, eating grass, rolling in the mud, sitting in the pool and lying in the sun.