Him: “I went to see why ravens were gathering in the pasture. I thought he was dead, but he’s just stuck.“
Me: “How is he… stuck?”
Him: “Come check it out.”
We go investigate Bill the boar. Bill the 1,000lb Hampshire boar. Indeed, Bill was accustomed to sleeping on the steep dusty hillside. He normally laid down with his feet facing downhill, making it easy to roll over right into a standing position. But this time he laid with his feet pointing uphill. Now he was stuck, almost on his back, with his short, fat legs poking helplessly up into the air.
The ravens know a down piggy when they see one! They knew he wasn’t getting back up on his own and were gathering in anticipation of his eventual death.
We tried a few times to simply heave Bill over onto his other side. But as you can imagine, a 1,000lb pig kicks with a lot of strength. He was tired and cranky and didn’t appreciate his legs being used as handles and levers. Flipping him over wasn’t going to be that simple.
Our next plan of action was to dig a trench on the downhill side. In theory, we’d just give him a little tip and he’d plop over onto his other side in the ditch. It sounded reasonable enough, so we dig the trench out and prepare to heave Bill once more.
“One, two, THREE!“
We levered Bill backward with his thrashing legs and sure enough, he flipped right on over. But he didn’t roll into the ditch. Bill’s massive frame caught air and the giant pig went flying down the mountain side. We watched in horror, both of our minds instantly conjuring scenarios of what happens next and how we’re going to extract a 1,000 pound carcass that’s wrapped itself around a tree at the bottom of the draw…
Bill flew downhill about thirty or forty feet, and like a half-ton cat he righted himself in mid-air and landed on all four legs with a jarring thud, just in front of the first big conifer trunk in his path. We were both stupefied and relieved.
Bill saved himself and lived to see another day. It wasn’t too much later though that we had to butcher him. A pig that large is just… too large! The event of butchering Bill is a story in and of itself…
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