‘How does it feel to be free?’ she asked. ‘I like it,’ said Wilbur. ‘That is, I guess I like it.’ Actually Wilbur felt queer to be outside his fence, with nothing between him and the big world. Where do you think I’d better go?’ ‘Anywhere you like, anywhere you like,’ said the goose. ‘Go down through the orchard, root up the sod! Go down through the garden, dig up the radishes! Root up everything! Eat grass! Look for corn! Look for oats! Run all over! Skip and dance, jump and prance! Go down through the orchard and stroll in the woods! The world is a wonderful place when you’re young.’ ‘I can see that,’ replied Wilbur. He gave a jump in the air, twirled, ran a few steps, stopped, looked all round, sniffed the smells of afternoon, and then set off walking down through the orchard. Pausing in the shade of an apple tree, he put his strong snout into the ground and began pushing , digging, and rooting. He felt very happy. He had ploughed up quite a piece of ground before anyone noticed him. Mrs Zuckerman was the first to see him. She saw him from the kitchen window, and she immediately shouted for the men. ‘Ho-mer!’ she cried. ‘Pig’s out! Lurvy! Pig’s out! Homer! Lurvy! Pig’s out. He’s down there under that apple tree.’ ‘Now the trouble starts,’ though Wilbur. ‘Now I’ll catch it.’ The goose heard the racket and she, too, started hollering. ‘Run-run-run downhill, make for the woods, the woods!’ she shouted to Wilbur. ‘They’ll never-never-never catch you in the woods.’ The cocker spaniel heard the commotion and he ran out from the bran to join in the chase. Mr Zuckerman heard, and he came out of the machine shed where he was mending a tool. Lurvy, the hired men, heard the noise and came up from the asparagus patch where he was pulling weeds. Everybody walked towards Wilbur and Wilbur didn’t know what to do. The woods seemed a long way off, and anyway, he had never been down there in the woods and wasn’t sure he would like it. ‘Get round behind him, Lurvy,’ said Mr Zucker-man,’ and drive him towards the barn! And take it easy – don’t rush him! I’ll go and get a bucket of slops.’ The news of Wilbur’s escape spread rapidly among the animals on the place. Whenever and crea-ture broke loose on Zuckerman’s farm, the event was of great interest to the others. The goose shouted to the nearest cow that Wilbur was free, and soon all the cows knew.
Then one of the cows told one of the sheep, and soon all the sheep knew. The horses, in their stalls in the barn, pricked up their ears when they heard the goose hollering; and soon the horses had caught on to what was happening. ‘Wilbur’s out,’ they said. Every animal stirred its head and become excited to know that one of its friends had got free and was no longer penned up or tied fast. Wilbur didn’t know what to do or which way to run. It seemed as though everybody was after him. ‘If this is what it’s like to be free,’ he thought, ‘I believe I’d rather be penned up in my own yard.’ The cocker spaniel was sneaking up on him from one side, Lurvy the hired man was sneaking up on him from the other side. Mrs Zuckerman stood ready to head him off if he started for the garden, and now Mr Zuckerman was coming down towards him carrying a pail. ‘This is really awful,’ thought Wil-bur. ‘Why doesn’t Fern come?’ He began to cry. The goose took command and began to give orders. ‘Don’t just stand there, Wilbur! Doge about, doge about!, cried the goose. ‘Skip around, run to-wards me, slip in and out, in and out, in and out! Make for the woods! Twist and turn!’ The cocker spaniel sprang for Wilbur’s hind leg. Wilbur jumped and ran Lurvy reached out and grabbed. Mrs Zuckerman screamed at Lurvy. The goose cheered for Wilbur. Wilbur dodged between Lurvy’s legs. Lurvy missed Wilbur and grabbed the spaniel instead. ‘Nicely done, nicely done!’ cried the goose. ‘Try it again, try it again.’ ‘Run downhill!’ suggested the cows. ‘Run towards me!’ yelled the gander. ‘Run uphill!’ cried the sheep. ‘Turn and twist!’ honked the goose. ‘Jump and dance!’ said the rooster. ‘Look out for Lurvy!’ called the cows. ‘Look out for Zuckerman!’ yelled the gander. ‘Watch out for the dog!’ cried the sheep. ‘Listen to me, listen to me!’ screamed the goose.