We were working on our new church a few Saturdays ago when, at lunch time, a couple of the guys starting talking about a wild boar roaming the woods of northern Wisconsin. Now I’m not the world’s most knowledgeable outdoors type of guy (although I do know the difference between a whitetail deer and a John Deere) so immediately in my not-too-informed-about-giant-pigs brain I envisioned little Babe, that cute talking pig, his face wrapped in a Packer scarf, struggling mightily against the bitter cold of a Douglas County winter.
“Poor little piggy,” I said to the guys. “POOR LITTLE PIG! ARE YOU NUTS?” they hollered in unison. I was immediately informed that this was no ordinary pig – but an escapee from a maximum security game farm somewhere in Northern Wisconsin known only to the DNR and the CIA. “And how did he get out?” I chuckled, “Did he tunnel his way out like in the Great Escape?” Thought I was being funny but they didn’t laugh. Their reply: “THEY just escaped! Walked out right past the guard tower!” So now I’m informed that its not one giant pig but several and they weigh……are you ready for this? About 500 pounds each!!! “Why that’s as big as a black bear!” was my astonished reply as I tried to impress them with the one thing I know about black bears (other than that they are black).
As we continued our lunch and the conversation progressed, facts began emerging about this giant pig. Not only is he B-I-G (I guess it’s a he), but he has the temperament of Robert DeNiro, Martha Stewart and the Terminator all rolled into one! They have tusks (yes just like an elephant) and they are meaner than a bunch of day-after-Thanksgiving-shoppers at the local mall. I later checked all this out on the Internet – looked up Russian Boars just to see if they were exaggerating. Those animals get really big (up to 700 lbs. in some countries) and are they ugly looking -- uglier than 11 Vikings trying to stop a last minute touchdown by a high school football team (being a 35 year Viking fan I have a right to say that…but let’s get away from such painful visions). The DNR website states emphatically, “If encountered, give the wild boar plenty of room to flee…” Now I’m thinking, “Give me plenty of room to flee!” And the paragraph heading on one website says boldly, “THREATS TO WISCONSIN.” Honest, I am not making this stuff up! The whole state is apparently in grave danger! And still another line goes, “Russian wild boars have thick shaggy coats and are capable of surviving Wisconsin winters…they are also wary, elusive animals that can live in an area AND NOT BE SEEN.” You mean to tell me they have stealth technology!!!
So I asked this group of mighty warriors, “If you meet one in your yard, is there any way to stop him? What should you do – just holler, “I don’t eat bacon!!!?” Again, my humor fell far short of its intended goal. They glared at me, but then just looked slowly at one another and began to speak in hushed tones – reminded me of a Frankenstein movie when the townsfolk are gathered at the local pub trying to figure out a way to stop the “MONSTER.” A grisly old guy with one eye leaned over my way, spit out his chew, and said with a raspy voice (I am exaggerating here for literary effect – it was actually just one of the ushers – and he has both eyes), “Preacher, they can’t be stopped! We’s tried bullets, arrows, pickups, tasers, everything……and they CAN’T BE STOPPED! If you sees one – just git in the house and begin praying!
Facts tend to get stretched and the stretches tend to grow into fiction and the fiction somehow weaves its way into legend. When my 2 ½ year old grandson grows up and comes to visit me in the old folks home, he’ll see me with my whitened hair (but then again probably not as I am currently taller than my hair), sidle up next to my rocking chair as I’m wrapped in my purple and gold afghan, and will ask me, “Grandpa, can you tell me about that giant pig that roamed the woods of northern Wisconsin back in the old days?” “I’d love to Noah….sit yourself down here for a spell and let me tell you about the legend………the legend of PIGFOOT.”
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This is hysterical! I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, I would love to use it as a Cowpokin' Ribtickler in Riders & Reapers. If you are interested, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see the ezine at www.ridersnreapers.com
Not currently a paying market but you will receive a nice bio and pic in the ezine. Each issue runs for two months and the next edition comes out Sept. 1 - Lord willing and the creek don't rise :)