They were housed in five large, muddy compounds with metal sheds for sleeping quarters. There were also huge hoppers filled with pig pellets and a constant supply of piped drinking water. Close to the sheds, there were stacks of hay and straw bales that would no doubt be used for fresh bedding.
When I lumbered up the grassy slopes of the pig field, I looked over the perimeter fence into the first compound. The pigs within all ran away in a panic as if they had just seen Frankenstein's Monster. But it wasn't long before their curiosity got the better of them and they crowded near the fence to get a better look at me. It's very possible that they were interested in eating me. Anything for a change from pig pellets.
They were young pigs and they squealed a lot. There was nobody governing them. They just did their own thing.
The pigs made me laugh and then they made me sing. There I was singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" and I swear they were entranced. The squealing ceased as they listened and huddled round, pushing and shoving to get the best view of me that they could. Their eyes were beady. Their ears like silk purses and their skin all bristly. Many were mucky because of the mud in their compound. There was nowhere for them to take hot showers.
It was a low fence that only came up to my midriff. The panels were movable - just hooked together. To separate them all you would need to do would be to lift one panel with a bit of muscle power.
What was I thinking of? I had not planned it. It all happened on a whim, instinctively and I am not saying that I am proud of what I did. I just did it and that's that. There was no one else around - just me and the pigs.
It took me no more than twenty seconds to separate two of the panels and effectively I had created a gateway or an exit for the pigs. A handful decided to remain in the compound but most of the pigs burst through the opening like escaped convicts and they were off. Free at last!
Some headed down to the little river that meandered through reeds at the bottom of the fields and some ran into the neighbouring woodland, their trotters thundering through the autumn leaves and brambly undergrowth. They had no idea where they were going but their joy was palpable.
I thought better of opening the other four compounds because I was quite fearful that my key part in this great escape might at any moment be recognised. I consoled myself in the belief that they would probably go back home at sundown - if indeed they could find their way home. What did that children's tickling rhyme say? Wee-wee-wee all the way home. Yes that's it.
I continued along a farm track through autumn stubble and in the distance I saw a posse of pigs heading east - still galloping along with their little curly tails pointing like corkscrews at the sky above.
Sometimes we do things without thinking or considering the possible consequences of our actions. I sincerely hope that none of the pigs have been killed on the roads in that locality and I further hope that in the next twenty four hours I don't hear cops knocking on our door. I find some relief in the realisation that it would be exceedingly difficult for them to track me down. However, I find much more relief in the imagined picture of half a dozen liberated pigs settling down to sleep tonight in a forest clearing after filling their bellies with acorns and beech nuts.
Who knows what adventures they may have tomorrow?