A PIG failed to bring home the bacon when it popped into a New Forest vegetable store for some early Christmas shopping.
The hog became the pork of the town when it trotted into Village Veg in Brockenhurst while snout and about in Brookley Road.
The pig was one of up to 600 released onto the Forest every year during the pannage season to gobble up the green acorns which are poisonous to ponies and cattle.
Livestock are a common sight in the village’s high street – but it is normally un-herd of for them to pop in to any of the outlets for a nose.
The curly tale ended with the swine making a pig’s ear of its alternative shopping trip and its visit soon got the chop from shop staff.
Just another forest resident enjoying our shop pic.twitter.com/8dqtPfTWhN
— Village Veg (@NickVillageVeg) December 3, 2019
Owner Nicholas Munnik (50), who lives in the village, said: “My staff were on duty and told me the pig wandered in before quickly being ushered out of the door empty handed.
“Better my shop than the butcher’s next door.”
He added: “I think the last time was a horse in Tesco during the horse-meat scandal but they do pop in the high street occasionally.”
Village Veg says on its website that it prides itself on being “easily accessible” with customers able to hand-pick their own fruit and veg.
“You should be able to choose it, feel it and smell it,” it promises. The New Forest porker may have taken that a step too far.
As reported in the A&T, the pannage season started in early September and usually lasts 60 days. But because of a glut of acorns the verderers extended it by 43 days until Monday 23rd December.
The pigs are a tourist attraction with visitors searching the national park for them to get a snap.
However, sows can be protective of their piglets and people are warned by commoners to keep clear. In the past people have been charged at by the animals.