The Hazlegrove pigs are the undisputed Hollywood A-listers of the school farm. In terms of sheer glamour and charisma, our star sow and her plucky piglets never fail to deliver the goods. They are immensely popular amongst the children, who take any opportunity to go and see them. Regardless of where we might be headed, the request comes in: ‘Can we go past the pigs on the way?’ And of course, even if it means going the long way around, we usually do.

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The pigs’ popularity reached fever pitch one afternoon in March this year, when they mounted a daring escape attempt. Tiring of life in the sty, our pigs made a bid for freedom and overcame the farm’s defences in a serious breach of security. It was like a scene from The Great Escape, only with fewer German guards. Or motorcycles.

How they managed it is still a great mystery. Some say they ate their way through the fencing. Might the piglets might have sprouted wings and flown over? Some say the pigs have a friend on the inside?

In any case, they managed it.

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And so it was that the silence of a sunny spring afternoon was broken with the piercing cry of ‘Pig!’ from the nearby tennis court. An observant Year 5 had spotted a rogue piglet moving towards them at some speed.

‘PIG!’ she shouted again.

‘What did you call me?’ asked the games teacher.

‘No, not you! Look, pigs!”

And she pointed to where not one, or two, but three piglets were gleefully trotting along in single file. Our now comprehending tennis coach sprang into action, and with arms outstretched, began to herd them back. By now, word had gotten around and children were out in full force to see this once in a lifetime event.

The piglets were caked in mud and squealing happily, oblivious to the commotion they were causing. Piglet no. 2 (”piggy in the middle’) had found a snail in the grass and was trying to hoover it up. Piglet no. 3 was playing to the crowd, rolling over onto his belly and generally giving the audience what they wanted.

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The games teacher advanced, and the piglets retreated. The games teacher went this way, and the piglets went that way. For a moment it looked as if the our runaways might have the upper hand. Speed was certainly on their side.

Their new-found freedom didn’t last, however. They seemed to sense that the game was up. With a flick of their curly tails they were gone.

The celebrity pigs have remained happily in their muddy abode ever since. At the time of writing, their popularity shows no sign of waning. Only time will tell whether or not they can put their heads together and come up with another break out plan. In the meantime, we try to keep them as happy as we can.

And that, as Porky Pig would say, is all folks.

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TB

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