Happy Whistle Pig Day
Yes. Happy Whistle Pig Day. That’s what it is around here, anyway. We celebrate Whistle Pig Day because it’s one of the earliest Facebook memories I have. I’ve decided to make a post out of it because the memory of it is quite delightful — especially in retrospect.
I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a photo of Whistle Pig on the actual, factual day. With a little help from the internet and a blog called Kretschmer 2014, here’s the most accurate photo representation of my frightened Whistle Pig friend. [It’ll take you under five seconds — unless you’re using your toes to navigate the keyboard and then it’ll take ten.]
In an introductory kind of way — a little like a preface — let me just say that this is NOT the sound the little guy was making underneath my car that one day clear back in July of 2009.
It’s too, oh, what’s the word, what’s the word? Ahh. Pleasant.
This is why they call them Whistle Pigs.
This is taken from the original post.
High five to Judy [there were 3 kids in her car] who shouted to me as I walked to my car from the local Ross Dress for Less store: “Hey! Hey! Don’t get in your car! Come over here! There’s some kind of animal under your car and I think it’s angry cuz it hissed at me — and I was thinking that it could attack you on your legs or feet or something.”
I asked her what she meant as I stood there holding the treasures I’d found at Ross.
“I walked past your car and heard a hissing sound.”
You heard a hissing sound — from under my car?
I calmly/not calmly place my package on the hood of the car and proceed to check her claim.
Power ranger woman in the parking lot all getting me riled up and nervous about a hissing thing under my car.
Kneeling slowly just in case it’s a snake [Don’t judge because seriously, what sound does a snake make? Exactly.], I spied a dark shape against the inside front of the passenger side tire.
Not a puppy. It wasn’t anything I recognized, actually — partly because it was dark underneath my car and partly because I was nervous.
I said aloud, “Maybe we should have someone come and get it out from under my car.” Power Ranger and the chorus of three children quickly respond, “Yeah! Who?”
“Uhmm–will you hold my bag and I’ll call 911.”
Sure, I’ll hold yer bag. [pause] 911?
“Yes, because that’s how they do it in the movies.” Dial. Dial.
911 Dispatch. What is your emergency?
I explained about the unknown creature that definitely wasn’t a puppy or a snake sitting under my car and asked her if 911 was the correct number to call in the first place. “Yes.” [Movies are true.] “Where are you?” In front of Ross Dress for Less in the parking lot. “Exactly where are you?” Ma’am, I truly have not moved an inch since you asked me a few seconds ago. I’m on my knees peering under the car in the parking lot in front of Ross Dress for Less.
“Please stay on the line until the officer arrives.”
I can do that.
At this point, I’m suddenly aware that my Power Ranger friend, is rehearsing the heroic deed of helping me avoid a shark attack in the parking lot. Or–a foot attack and possible rabies. Cars are pulling into Michael’s parking lot and people are gathering on the little grassy knoll. Fine. We’re officially a sideshow of awesomeness.
“Is the animal control sheriff approaching yet?” The dispatcher is still on the line and I forgot.
“Please stay on the line until he arrives.”
And then without thinking and because I am roasting and quite by myself but not quite myself, I start chatting with the creature under the car by the wheel. I don’t make a plan to do it, I just begin — which is why I was startled when I heard giggling and realized that the dispatcher had been listening to an anxious, rattled me trying to talk the angry hissing creature into relaxing. “You’ve got to work with me little buddy because seriously it’s hot out here and there are a bunch of people watching which brings me to this next thought. Consider not attacking or anything because people are taking pictures and stuff. I can’t imagine that you’re enjoying this the slightest bit more than I am. Just assure me that you don’t have rabies and I’ll be fine. You know the police are coming, right? [pause] I can clearly see you NOT relaxing, Mr. Angry, hissing thing under my vehicle.”
That’s the point where the dispatcher began to giggle.
It’s also the exact moment when I realize that people are taking photos of me kneeling on the hot pavement, peering under my car, bravely [read definitely NOT bravely and a little bit trying not to wet my pants every time the little dragon hisses] trying to soothe the creature and myself.
“Is the animal control sheriff approaching?”
1 of the 3 children shouts: “They’re here!”
Yes. The animal control sheriff is approaching.
“Please stay on the line so you can apprise me of any changes.”
The officer parks his vehicle, gets out and smiles at the crowd who begin cheering. He casually starts walking around my vehicle looking for my hissing creature and stops.
What is it?!
“Can’t see it.”
It’s UNDER the car, Sir.
“Oh. [pause] OH! That’s a woodchuck!”
[Also known as Whistle Pig which is why we’re celebrating Whistle Pig Day.]
The dispatcher hears the news and bids me adeiu.
The sheriff of catching animals goes to collect the appropriate Whistle Pig catching gear from his vehicle. I go over to the side of the car, kneel down on the hot pavement to start another conversation. This time in a more motivational kind of way because maybe the little guy just needs a friend.
Someone suggests I take off my shoe and throw it at the critter. No.
Within moments of beginning what I considered to be a rational argument in favor of calming down, the critter hisses and moves towards me simultaneously which causes me to let go a shriek and propel my body backwards right smack dab into Power Ranger Judy who has been surreptitiously
sneaking standing behind me during the entire time I was having the motivational one-on-one with Mr. Whistle-pig.
She, in turn, whams into some lady who had standing behind her.
[Is this making sense?]
Focusing on the the task at hand, Sheriff Hero quickly maneuvers the long handled cloth net underneath the car and bundles the frightened little Whistle Pig into a waiting cage where he is whisked safely away to be released — into the wild — and not in an adjacent parking lot.
I don’t shop at Ross Dress for Less anymore — I shop at Whistle Pigs.
And there you have the reason we celebrate Whistle Pig Day around here.
I leave you with a Whistle Pig calling for his friend, Allen. Well, and then Steve.