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Wilbur's Story

A cute story about the antics of Wilbur and Rio.
By Lynne

Wilbur lives in a fairly large pig pen which is next to one of my barns. He has one large tree in his pen and another large tree just to one side. A garden hose is wound around the tree limbs to provide him with a constant shower and a "custom" pig wallow in the summer.

I adopted a wild mustang from the BLM earlier this year. The mustang's name is Rio and he is now tame enough to allow him to run with the rest of my horses. They are split into two groups, and Rio's herd is in the same pasture as Wilbur's pen.

Wilbur has always been around dogs, cats, and horses. I've never trimmed his tusks, so he has these huge 3 inch razor things, but he's very sweet. He was made a barrow at about 4 months of age, and we've never had any aggression problems with him as long as he knows the people he's dealing with. I can't sit in his pen any longer because he still tries to get in my lap, where he spent many an hour as a piglet.

I raised him on a bottle and while he was never specifically house broken, I don't really remember any accidents. But I always go in and scratch his favorite spots. He accepts my husband and the people who feed him when we are gone, but I warn my friends that Wilbur doesn't "cotton to strangers" and to beware.

At any rate, I have been most interested in observing Rio's behavior. I've never been around wild horses, but I've had a small herd (anywhere from 4 to 12) of domestic horses for years. It seems that Rio's new favorite pass time is to annoy the heck out of the pig. The first time I saw all of this behavior, I thought it was a fluke, but it truly seems to be something they both enjoy.

First Rio will run up to the side of the pen and sort of stick his nose down at Wilbur's level. This causes Wilbur's little black pig ears to point straight up in the air and all the hair on his back to stand straight up and he runs over to where Rio is standing. Then there is this sort of biting action going on between the mustang and the pig.

Wilbur tries to bite Rio's legs through the fence and Rio tries to bite Wilbur anywhere he can. They both spend the next few minutes ducking and biting. There's not much sound except for the occasional frustrated sort of grunting noise coming from Wilbur.

If Wilbur gets too close to Rio, Rio tucks his front feet much like a dog would when you pretend that you are going to "get" his paws. Once, Wilbur became so excited about the whole prospect that he did a little pig-jig and reared up on his hind legs in a piggy frenzy to try and bite Rio over the top of the pig pen.

Now, we're talking about at least 350 pounds of rearing up on short black stumpy legs. Rio, being a typical horse, took advantage of the opportunity and simply reached over the fence and bit Wilbur on the ear.

I thought Wilbur was going to explode. I thought we were going to have pig innards all over the pen. His little pig eyes narrowed to slits and he almost glowed he was so mad.

At this stage I was laughing so hard I could hardly move, much less do anything about the situation. I finally managed to control myself enough to run off the mustang because I was afraid that Wilbur, in his little blind pig rage, was going to do something to himself that he would not later enjoy.

I find the two frequently engaged in similar behavior. Now Rio has taught my 4 month old filly that hanging out by the pig pen is a cool thing to do. She has begun rolling in the mud that accumulates in the pasture below the pig pen. They are all having a very large time.

There are many other Wilbur stories, but this one is my favorite. Hope you enjoy it. I keep a picture of Wilbur on my desk. I am a lawyer and my clients sometimes are too shy to ask me why I have a picture of a large, black, feral hog on my desk, but those who are brave enough to ask get the whole story.

Thanks again for your suggestions and comments. They are always welcome.