Photo by Audrey Pavia
Even though I have horses to ride and chores to do, I still feel like I need to take a walk around the neighborhood a couple of times a week for exercise. Nothing clears my head after a day at work like a stroll through my urban farming community.
I mostly like to walk into the hilly neighborhood just above my block. The homes are relatively new, with “big” lots of a 1/2 acre or more. The landscaping in the front yards are pretty, and the corner houses usually have horses or other critters I can look at or even visit with along my stroll.
One house about four blocks from my home is my favorite stop along the way. That’s because an adorable piglet I’ve dubbed Petunia (named after the lady pig in the Looney Tunes cartoons) lives in the backyard.
My first meeting with Petunia was my favorite. I hadn’t noticed her before when passing that yard, which also has some bunnies in a hutch and a friendly palomino gelding. One late afternoon after work, I passed the yard and she caught my eye: the cutest little pig I had ever seen. I stopped and called to her.
Petunia looked up at me from her rutting and began to oink oink oink as she trotted in my direction. I squatted down so I’d be closer to her level and reached a few fingers through the wire mesh fence. Petunia made contact with me, her little pink snout brushing against my straining fingertips. We shared a moment.
Any thoughts of ever having my own piglet are pretty much out of the question, thanks to an unpleasant experience my spouse encountered one day when we were visiting some country folk in the mountains. The kindly older couple invited us out for lunch and a ride in their horse-drawn wagon after I interviewed them for an article I was writing. After a lovely buggy ride, we came inside for lunch, where we met their huge pet pig. The pig had the run of the house and had no qualms about openly begging from each person as we dined on our tacos and refried beans. Just a few moments with this large pig slobbering on his leg while he ate was enough to turn Randy off to the idea of ever having a pig.
So for now, I get my piggy fix from Petunia, who is always happy to see me as I pass by her yard. Maybe she won’t be as adorable when she grows up, but right now, in my eyes, she is the cutest piggy in all of Norco.