Today we took a small hike on a trail behind Spannochia. Meeta had encountered what she thought were wild boars on a previous walk so we were hoping to see some. Inside, I was a little nervous remember reading somewhere how quickly domestic pigs becomes wild and also remembering reading somewhere that wild boars are very unpredictable.
So I pick up a stick that I found and hinted to Meeta subtly that I was a little concerned about the situation we might get ourselves into. Of course we don’t want to alarm Avinash or create a fear in him of things unknown but it’s always good to have a little bit of caution.
We hike in about 10 minutes and we start to hear some snorting about 10m above us. We stop and wait and start to see some pigs come down towards the trail. It was a whole family or two. One very large male, two mamas and about a dozen piglets.
They were all very cute and as Meeta was taking a video of them, I had my gaze fixed on the papa pig. He showed a little aggressive behavior towards his female counterparts and also showed what I interpreted to be aggressive behavior towards us.
He was digging holes in front of him with his front legs while looking straight at us. He was also spreading is slobber all over every tree in the area. Seemed like he was expressing his masculinity.
I calmly suggested that the three of us move up the hill a bit off of the trail so that they would have a clear path to move onwards. This seemed to work since they started to go on their way. There was one piglet hanging back and the papa came back to give him a little nudge to move along.
After the piglet had moved on, the papa started to move towards us sniffing in the air and making snorting noises. Keep in mind he was probably at least 400lbs, so he could easily take us out.
He came closer and closer and Meeta steps in front of Avinash and yells out, “What????” If her hand was free, she surely would have been waving it to make a letter “Z” in the air. She doesn’t remember yelling that but does remember very clearly that emotion as she hit her stick on the tree next to us.
The only problem was that her stick broke into two when she struck the tree and she looked at the stub in her hand with the clear as day expression of “oh ohhh” on her face. The pig didn’t flinch.
During all of this, I was behind her enjoying a front row seat to what I thought was a hilarious side show to our afternoon hike. She finally looked back at me maybe because she heard me laughing and gave me the “Do something!” glare.
So I puffed up my chest, pushed her aside, rattled my stick on the tree and yelled at the pig stepping towards him in as aggressive a gesture as I could make.
The pig kind of sniffed me a couple of times and then backed up and went on his way. My job was done.
Avinash had no idea how much danger we could have gotten into. While we try to instill appreciation and respect for animals, we don’t want to create in him a fear of animals. He loves animals and we want to keep it that way.
So here is my version… I remember seeing daddy pig coming my way and although I thought “oh no you are NOT coming our way” with full on attitude, I am sure I did not verbalize it.
I ushered Avinash behind me and pulled out my defender stick. I forcefully asked Daddy Pig to move on, but he didn’t care. So I found the nearest tree and banged my stick against it hoping to spook Daddy Pig. Unfortunately, my life saving stick snapped in two and I was left literally holding the short end.
All I remember after that is watching Nam break out into what looked like a Polynesian dance that involved chest thumping, foot stomping and some sort of speaking in tongues. Yes, the pig did look at Nam and decided to walk away, but from the look on Daddy Pig’s face it was from lack of amusement. Thank you my hero for clearing the room