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David Samson, Published November 13 2011

Portraits: Nick, Zach and Chester the pig

It isn’t every day you find a stray pig wandering in the woods by your house, but that’s the story for the Johnson family of north Moorhead. Brothers Nick, 11, and Zach, 8, get plenty of strange reactions from their friends when they see the family pot-bellied pig they named “Chester.” “She was just a little baby wandering around, but we didn’t know if she was wild,” Zach says. The pig would make her way near the house, and the family fed her some Cheetos, so hence the name Chester. The family called the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and put out notifications to see if anyone lost a pig. No one claimed her, and the family had become attached to her and didn’t want her taken away or put down, so she has been a fixture in the neighborhood for the past six years. She is usually tucked away in the woods in her little house near the family home and gets to stay in the garage on really cold winter nights. “Most of my friends just laugh when they see her; one day when she was in the garage, she stepped on Zack’s toe, and he was stuck because she is so heavy,” Nick says. “But she is just really nice.”