Freshford was transformed into something resembling a Carry On film last week, as two black miniature Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs got loose and ran amok.
Traffic ground to a halt and ladders were knocked over as the twin miscreants, ‘Paddy’ and Neddy’, led their captors on a merry dance. They quickly became the talk of the north Kilkenny village, as people joined the chase or simply stood and watched it unfold.
The intrepid animals are owned by local man Paddy Walsh, who received them from his grandson Philip Moss when they were just 11 weeks old. He built an enclosure for them, but the piglets put on a little holiday weight over the Christmas period, and decided to test out the pen for structural weaknesses.
They managed to find such a weakness, and having broken out of their confinement, the porcine Steve McQueens ran through Johnny Maher’s field, and headed in the direction of town. They embarked on an adventure through the village, pausing to take in the sights, but moving quickly enough to avoid capture.
Paddy, who also keeps ducks in his garden, was unable to keep up with the wily runaways, and enlisted the help of friends and neighbours. A Ray Cooney-esque farce ensued.
“We couldn’t believe how fast they were,” said Paddy’s grandson, Philip Moss.
“But we knew that [pig] Paddy was an adventurer before. He is a bit bigger, but more nervous than Neddy.”
Paddy has indeed already blotted his copybook. On his first night in Kilkenny, he attempted escape, this time emulating Henri Charriere and jumping into water. He couldn’t swim, however, and had to be rescued.
This time, the pigs’ truancy did not last long, even after they shook off their hunters. They were unable to recreate the legendary exploits of the so-called ‘Tamworth Two’ – a pair of pigs in England who absconded for several days and garnered international attention. Paddy and Neddy were eventually discovered, intact and unharmed, at the local montessori school. The two little piggies were cornered, captured, and brought all the way home (now reinforced).
The former escapees seem largely content with their enclosure now. They have no need to fear the frying pan either; they are pets and nothing more.
Miniature pigs have become increasingly popular pets in recent years. They are very intelligent animals, capable of understanding human direction, and they are easily housebroken. They are affectionate creatures, are not fussy eaters, and when kept properly, they are extremely clean.