Boaring Followup

When I wrote my story about Cooper and the wild boar he tried to befriend, well, I did it as a way to make my peace with my furry friend’s passing.

And as frequently happens when I write about things that hurt my heart, my blogging buddies have all helped me through what has been a sad few days.  Thanks.  It has made a difference.

Karen, from Mom in the Muddle commented that she’d never known anyone with a wild boar story  And it occurred to me that I have several.

So I thought I’d tap that keg one more time, and tell you my other wild boar stories.

Spoiler Alert:  Nobody dies.  You’re welcome.

Boaring-story #1

Linda was an English angel.  We met when she came to my door about six months after we moved to Switzerland.  By that point, I was incredibly lonely – my French was, ummm, sucky, and I knew very few people.

Then Linda knocked on my door. She spoke English.  And she was moving in down the street with her husband and two, count ‘em two kids – a girl Jacob’s age (Catherine) and a boy (James) a year younger.  Friends for my son!  Did I mention that she was English.  And that she spoke English?

While Linda was visiting that first afternoon, John called. I told him that we had a new neighbor who spoke English and that I wasn’t going to let her leave.  I said this in front of Linda.  Somehow, she didn’t take me to be some sort of psychopath and became my friend in spite of what must have seemed like a creepy thing to say.

Anyway, one evening after Cooper and I had our encounter,  Linda was driving down the busy road that was next to our house.  Linda drove a large, green Mitsubishi Montero, and that night she struck a fully grown, male wild boar.  Only a car that size could have won such a jousting match.  Linda was unhurt, and she called the local police, the gendarme, to report it.  The men in uniform came rushing.

Now what do you think was their first question?  Did they ask if she was hurt?  If her car was alright?  If she was traumatized by hitting and killing a beast that weighed as much as a truck?

No.  Wrong on all counts.

“Madam, do yu vant it?” they said in heavily French-accented English.  “Ze sanglier?  Ze body?  Ze boar?” 

You see, the meat from wild boar is a much sought after delicacy in Switzerland and France.  Linda was unaware of that fact.

Linda straightened her British backbone, stiffened her British upper lip and said in her most refined British accent:

“Why No.”

Image from gourmetfly.com

Image from gourmetfly.com

Linda’s boar was given to a local bistro in the next town.  The served sanglier à la chaise for the rest of the season.

Google, natch

Google, natch

I didn’t try it out of respect for Cooper’s pal, the boar who didn’t kill us.  It only seemed fair.

*   *   *

Boaring story #2

In mid-2000 we moved a short ways away, across the border into France.  There we had a lovely house, but the dog walks were less spectacular.

Still, every night after Jacob went to bed, John or I would take Coops for a walk.  We took turns, because Jacob was still too young to leave alone.  We were still surrounded by farm fields, but the views and the walks now along town streets that meandered alongside of farm fields, instead of farm roads that criss-crossed them.  These roads were built for cars, and darn it all, people used them to drive on!

John insisted on taking a flashlight whenever he went for a walk at night.  I thought he was a pansy.  I mean, really, there were streetlights here and there, plus your eyes adjust to the darkness and I for one could see just fine in the dark, thank you very much.  I was not a pansy; I didn’t carry a flashlight.

And you know, that was probably just as well, because one night while Cooper and I were out, we walked down a road that was busy enough to require me to leash Coops.  And it was a good thing.  Because as we came around a curve I noticed something silhouetted in the streetlight 30 feet ahead of us – a full grown, tusked, wild boar.

Thanks, Google But our boar's tusks were way bigger

Thanks, Google
But our boar’s tusks were way bigger

Male wild boars have tusks that protrude from their lower jaw.  They use these tusks to skewer dogs and people who displease them.

Cooper and I stood very still and watched him.  The streetlight glistened on his tusks which were quite large.  I figured they would easily go through either Cooper or I.  Maybe both.

Unless we died from the stench.  Wild boars seem to have an aversion to water.  And soap.

After about 10 minutes that seemed a whole lot longer, Pumba moved on into the farm field on the other side of the road.  There was a dip of about two feet between the road and the field, and Pumba negotiated it easily.

Phew!  Another boaring averted.

*   *   *

Boaring-story #3

Naturally, I started to become a wee bit nervous.  Paranoid.  Fearful of large mammals that might kill me and my dog.

I was pretty sure I wouldn’t do anything stupid around a wild animal.  I respected them.  I admired their strength.  Their wildness.  Their ability to kill me if I ticked them off.  So I knew that I was safe.

Cooper? There was not even the slightest chance that he would be sensible. So during the fall, when the wild boar were known to be around, I kept him on the leash in the evenings.  I was learning.

I did decide that maybe my husband John wasn’t such a pansy after all.  Perhaps, I thought, just perhaps, a flashlight wasn’t such a stupid idea.  It could let me see what was going to attack me, although sometimes I think you’re better off not knowing what’s gonna hit you.  Still, maybe having a flashlight would give me a blunt instrument with which to defend myself.   I looked at the six-inch plastic flashlight in my hand and realized that I was totally screwed in the weapons department.

One night, not long after Cooper and I had seen Pumba basking in the streetlamp, that we had another sighting.  I was starting to worry that my luck just couldn’t continue.  Time was running out.  How many times can you be in close contact with a wild boar without getting boared?

It was getting on towards December.  There was a distinct chill in the air.  The leaves were off the trees, the shrubs were bare .  The moon was full that night, and so I left the flashlight at home.  I could see just fine in the bright light that needed no batteries.  Of course, just when I needed the moon, it chose to disappear.  And that is when I looked to my left and saw the dim outline of yet another wild boar.   And this one was even bigger.

This wildlife crap was beginning to get on my nerves.

“SHIT!!!!” I thought.  “What is with these pigs?  Do I have a ‘Gore me’ sign on my back?  Or one that says ‘Secretly wants to be Boared?’ ” 

Does Mother Nature truly have a warped sense of humor?

In the dim light, I could just see the animal slowly walking, straight towards me and Cooper.  We slowly backed away, but it kept coming.  Slowly and steadily it lumbered our way, prolonging my fear.  Why not kill me and get it over with?

I swear, this animal was even bigger than the last boar we’d seen.  From its size and shape, I figured it was possibly the largest wild boar on earth.

And then, just when it was at the edge of the field, about 20 feet away from frozen me and squirming Cooper, something surprising happened.

The wild boar mooed

 

There was a whole mess of them Google Image

There was a whole mess of these scary critters
Google Image

The farmer had apparently just moved his herd of cows to that field the other boar had crossed.  It had previously been empty.  The moon came back out and shined down on me, as I laughed uproariously.  Cooper looked confused but he wagged his tail and tugged on his leash.  He wanted to play with the cows.  Of course, they don’t much like dogs, either.

*    *    *

Cooper and I never again met a wild boar.  And you know what?  That suits me just fine.  Because dealing with one sanglier was memorable.  A whole herd of them was just getting boaring

40 Comments

Filed under Awards, Cooper, Dogs, Family, Geneva Stories, Humor, Pets, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

40 responses to “Boaring Followup

  1. Go ahead and go to Switzerland. Just bring me the chocolate and we’ll both be happy. It isspectacular!

  2. Remind not to go to Switzerland. I don’t like chocolate anyway! :) Oh, never mind. I know that we have the critters around here, too. And I still don’t like chocolate…

  3. Luanne

    I wonder how similar wild boar is to javelina. We have javelina out here in Arizona, and they have the nastiest teeth. Yet they are so cute with their twins–every javelina family has twin babies. But then I think of those teeth . . . and how they hate dogs, and I get shivers.

  4. When I first moved to the Ozarks I came across a deer that had been hit on a blind curve one evening – I called Fish and Game and they asked me if I wanted it – What I wanted was for someone to move it off the road so no one else would hit it. It never occurred to me that I was calling a “claim the roadkill” hotline.

  5. totsymae1011

    Sorry your heart’s hurting. You’re one special woman to have a thing for a wild boar.

  6. Twindaddy

    I think I would have ended up getting a treadmill for myself and the dog.

  7. I just read your great story about Cooper and it reminded me of yet another Boar Saga. A friend was walking in woods in the Netherlands, a highly populated little country and not generally known for it’s wilderness although it has some gloriously wild places inhabited by Deer and Wild Boar. He was accompanied by his ageing Scottish Deerhound. Deerhounds are known for their laziness until they see something to chase and then they are that spot in the distance but this was an old dog who always walked dutifully by her master. Coming into a clearing they were met with the sight of a bunch of Wild Boar adolescents grazing amongst the moss. Too late not to be spotted my friend froze to the spot hoping that his dog who was off the lead would do the same. Instead she frolicked towards them in a playful fashion ( a la Cooper). The young boar watched for a few seconds and then joined in and there followed a few moments of jouful and friendly play. Choosing his moment my friend called his dog and as she turned towards him the boar regrouped and trotted off into the woods. Once again she became the old obedient lady but I’m sure she had a glint in her eye!

  8. You do seem to have a knack for attracting these creatures, so happy that you and Cooper made it through your experience with wild boars, here I mainly worry about snakes because one of my black doggies just loves to chase them. Very sad that your dear friend is no longer with you RIP Cooper, big hug.

    • Thanks for your nice words. Boars are anything but boring, actually.

      Snakes? Your dog chases snakes? They aren’t playful in the least!

      We have poisonous copperheads here. A week or so before Cooper passed, I took him outside through the garage for a ate night pee. On the way back, I noticed a bungee cord on the floor by the door. It didn’t belong there (not that the garage is neat) but I reached over to pick it up. Fortunately, I thought, “hmmm, is that a snake?” Sure enough, it was a copperhead!

      • Yes, my little staffy chases snakes of all types and we have a few deadly ones in our area so I’m hoping that I can get to him quickly if he gets bitten. We don’t have copperheads here, glad you didn’t pick up the ‘bungee cord’.

        • After I wrote that comment, I read a story about a boy who was bitten by a copperhead. He’s doing fine, but I shudder! I don’t mind snakes, but still! One of our neighbors lost a beautiful German Shepherd to a snake.

  9. Elyse, I’m so sorry about Cooper. My eyes are filling up after reading all your boar stories, 1,2 and 3. I’m sure he’s in Dog Heaven, chasing herds of boars/cows and WINNING!

  10. It seems that the “American Hoggers” should go international and visit your former home. That’s a lot of boar stories!

  11. Oo that last story was scary! Well until it mooed :D
    Wild boar curry is a delicacy here..hehe

  12. I think you should write a book about how you are a boar magnet. I just love reading these stories. I can’t say as I’ve ever seen one up close and personal in my entire life.

    I had to laugh at them asking her if they could have the boar meat. Similar to when I hit that moose. The cops came upon the scene and the first thing they asked me was if the men in the pickup behind me could take the moose away. Y’know. so they could make some moose-flavored snacks. I just laughed hysterically at that question. (I was already pretty traumatized that I killed a moose) I didn’t think he was serious! But yeah, it’s an unwritten law in Maine that if you kill it, you can keep it.

    • Thanks Darla!

      It’s hilarious that they asked you about the moose. You should have said no — some of my best friends are vultures! And I’ll bet there’s nothing quite like Moose Jerkey!

  13. Certain not bored with these boars … and I had some Boar and Pasta in Florence. Continuing cheers to Cooper!

    • Glad you weren’t boared or bored! John liked it (I actually tasted it but I’m not too fond of gamey foods). But that was before I wasn’t murdered by one!

      On Cooper? Thanks. It’s been a week. So sad …

  14. I love your boaring stories. I also am surprised if boars were so highly desired to eat that there were so many roaming free. I just can’t see that happening here.
    I am sorry for the loss of Cooper. That was a well traveled dog who was obviously a fun companion to all beasts.

    • Thanks, Mae.

      They do hunt wild boar over there — in our neighborhood in Switzerland, actually. After the first sighting, I was always afraid of the hunters! But I don’t think they are that plentiful. Hardly anyone I know ever saw one.

      Thanks for your kind words about Cooper. He was a sweetheart and I miss him.

  15. I have to ask, what do wild boar eat? Isn’t it just veggies and chestnuts or something odd like that?

    Now you are surrounded by Boars, or is that Bores? They aren’t quite so close though are they?

    I think your stories of Cooper and the Wild Boars are fabulous.

    • Thanks, Val.
      Boar do eat just veggies, I’m pretty sure. They actually destroy farm fields, dig plants up by the roots and are destructive in many ways. I wasn’t concerned that I would be eaten — I was concerned that we would be gored — not eaten!

      As for the boars here in DC, yup. Apparently I brought some of them home with me and they formed the Tea Party. I’ve been packing much more carefully since then.

  16. Who knew one could have so many wild boar stories. I think this might be worth checking with the Guinness Book of World Record people… four boar stories seems worthy of some kind of record. :-)

    • I’m hoping not to have any more wild boar stories, actually, John. I think I reached my limit!
      And here’s a little known fact — John, Jacob and I helped set a Guinesss Book of World Records in 2001/2 when we spent New Years in Edinburgh. A crowd of people joined together to do the world’s largest Will-o-the-Wisp — a traditional scottish folk dance. We participated, we set the record and it remained a record for a year. Our names were never printed in the book. Fame is more fleeting in some instances than in others!

  17. Egad! You’re like the pied piper of wildboar.
    I’d say something about you living in DC, but those boars are tame.
    Mostly.

    • Now do you see why I don’t do extreme sports? I don’t need to court death! Death-defying things just walk up to me while I’m walking my damn dog.

      And you may be right about the Boars here in DC — the teaparty started not that long after we returned …

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