It was a fall crisp day. The sun was shining brightly and we were on top of the world. I was only about 5 years old. My younger sister, Irene, and I were riding on a hundred pound sack of feed which our daddy was pulling down to the chicken house. I say riding because we sat astraddle the sack which was mounted on a Red Ryder wagon. My dad was not a big man but this experience tells me he was not afraid of much. The chicken house was actually two, each about 150 feet long. They were connected by what we lovingly called the feed house. We called it that because we stored chicken feed there in bins and in 100 pound bags.
When we got to the feed house, we noticed this wild boar hog standing next to a fence and near the chicken house. Dad knew he wasn’t supposed to be there because he could easily kill and eat our chickens. While we watched, dad picked up a pitchfork that was leaned up against the feed house and approached the boar which was frothing at the mouth. He poked the hog several times and that hog didn’t even budge!
Dad was somewhat concerned but wasn’t going to be deterred that easily. There were some empty paper bags that 50 pounds of feed came in just inside the feed house so he folded two of them up and stuck the pitchfork through them. Next, he pulled a box of matches out of his pocket an lit the paper bags! He knew any normal animal would run from fire. He approached the hog and shook it in his face. The flames were at least 18 inches high, enough to scare anything. But not that hog. Even when dad stuck it under his head he just stood there. We knew something was seriously wrong. Dad went back to the house, got the rifle and killed the hog. We came to the conclusion that the hog was rabid because he was foaming at the mouth and nothing made him move.
Since there were other cases of rabies around, we built a bonfire and burned the body so nothing could eat the carcass and possibly spread the disease. It was truly a scary event but those kind of things happen in rural areas and sometimes they seem like an ordinary thing that you just have to do. Of course they are not ordinary but they are a part of living on a homestead far away from neighbors and any other kind of help. In this situation, you just do what you have to do. Since then I have seen the kind of damage a boar like that can do. They can easily cut dogs to pieces, leaving 8 or 10 big dogs for dead in the woods and the hog walks away unharmed.
In hindsight, I know my dad was not afraid but I personally would not approach a wild boar with a pitch fork. I have caught them alive and tied them up and carried them out of the woods but with the help of a bulldog and besides that is a different story….
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