Pig on someone your own size!
Pigs are a frequent theme with my posts. They rototill all over and cause a ruckus and are annoying. But we’ve mostly made our peace with them, and we even got rid of the bucket with big rocks on our lānai. They’ve done a number on the newly planted coffee trees, sometimes breaking the trunk or branches of a new tree four to five times over the past two years. They don’t do too much damage to the mature coffee trees. They push some over, but if they can be pushed over, they probably need to be replaced.
But I have an amazing pig story that must be shared. The other day I met a few friends for brunch. A few of us saw each other at essentially the one public, free county parking lot still remaining (sore topic here). I noticed a bandaid on his upper arm (I thought: vaccine). Then I noticed various bandaids on his leg, and a bigger bandage around his calf area.
“I got attacked by a pig!”
“In my house!”
I know he likes to keep his ocean-side glass doors and screens open. “Did it come in by the pool into the living room?”
“No, it came in the front door.”
(He is a cool cucumber. You had to tease the details of this story out from him. )
It was about 12:30pm and he heard a strange noise at the door. He went to investigate, and there was a pig! He estimates it was about 150 pounds. They looked at each other, and then the pig barreled through the screen door into the house. Here’s a clip from the outside camera with the pig rushing over from the neighbor’s towards the front door.
Soon the pig was in his living room and the two of them were wildly dancing around. Friend was getting mad and was trying to think how to get the pig out of the house. After the pig calmed down and they were somewhat separated Friend tried to figure out what to do next.
He shot it. (What?!) Apparently he keeps a pellet gun near the door to shoot at pigs that come by, up to that point, always OUTSIDE. Some of us have a bucket of rocks, some have pellet guns. He was only about four feet away. The pig didn’t even flinch. Then he had to futz around to reload another pellet. Boom. Again, nothing to the pig. Probably felt like an annoying small rock. After one more shot, the pig decided he’d had enough and charged again. Friend threw a chair at him to keep them separate and the pig dragged it into the kitchen.
The open kitchen adjoins the living room, so Friend got behind the counter island. At that point, the pig felt it was done with fun and games and left the house out the back door, left open after getting the gun.
My friend thinks the whole incident took about two to three minutes. He looked around and there was chaos — chair in the kitchen, blood and dirt all over the living room, and a lamp got knocked onto the ground, blood on the lampshade. It was his blood. He didn’t even realize he had gotten injured. Adrenalin is an amazing thing. So then he had to clean himself up, put things back where they belonged, clean the carpet, and wipe up the blood and muddy dirt that was all over.
He got a pretty deep stab wound. He drove himself to Kaiser but they weren’t sure if the wound had damaged muscles or tendons, so they told him to go to the Kona Community Hospital Emergency Room. Fourteen miles away, a 25 minute drive if you’re lucky. The next closest hospital is in Waimea, a mere 40+ miles away. This is health care on an outer island, i.e., not O’ahu. By now he was feeling a bit queasy with all the blood and the doctor poking around his leg, and they didn’t want him to drive himself. Now he had to recruit a friend.
Which explained why he had probed earlier the next morning if I was swimming prior to brunch. He was wondering if he could get a ride. I had assumed his car was in the shop or something. I never for one moment guessed the real story. His truck was still at Kaiser from the day before.
Luckily, once the wound was irrigated, they discovered he wasn’t gored to the muscle or tendon depth. Whew! Looks like it was a tusk that stuck him. [I apologize to those of you who are grossed out. ] He’s on antibiotics.
His story is a warning for all of us who have visiting pigs. Most of our experience is that if you make noise and come across a pig, they get startled and run away. Maybe they might hold their ground. But none of us ever heard of a pig barreling into a human’s house! We’ve come across or startled pigs in the coffee land numerous times. I guess it’d be a good idea to always have something that could be used as a weapon if needed. We can’t rely on them running away. Another friend knows she has a visiting pig in her backyard, and she normally has the glass doors open with just the screen doors shut. Now she has to consider that the pig might want to enter, and a screen door isn’t much of a deterrent.
I shared the story with a couple of friends the next day. One friend asked if it was a mama pig, because mamas are protective of their young. She shared that when she was little, her father had picked up a small pig he saw on their land. Then from out of nowhere, mad mama came rushing him. “What’d he do?” “He ran up the steps.” So he kept the pig. He raised it to eventually slaughter.
That evoked another pig story from the other friend listening. She said she had a pig when she was a teenager, and she had named it Dog. She raised it for several years, collecting papayas, taro, sweet potato leaves, etc. to feed it. It would escape every once in a while. One time her brother told her her pig escaped, so she called out, “Doggie!” and she heard grunting in response. It knew its name.
Eventually her dad told her the pig was to be slaughtered the next day. She stayed away most of that day. Their house didn’t have an indoor bathroom. Many Japanese immigrant families had constructed simple furoba for bathing that was often separated from the main house. The bathing area to wash off was within the furoba. When she got home, Doggie was hanging in the furoba behind a sheet. We were laughing at the now-comical sounding, traumatizing imagery. Like a movie. She didn’t eat pork for a year.