Charleston, MS> The two most famous animals in Mississippi are of course, Thunderhoof, Lord of the Deer and the Gigantic Hog named Scissors according to the Porcine Press.
In 1917 Charleston, MS was a small farm town on the bluff overlooking the delta. It was unknown and quiet until Col. Tom James raised a dark colored hog that soon reached gigantic proportions. He named it Scissors. This giant hog won the blue ribbon at the Omaha fair and became world renowned. People bussed in from Bugtussel, walked in from Water Valley and traipsed over from Tippo to see the giant animal. The hog soon had it’s own house, yard, and pool. It even had a private boxcar to take it around the country. The massive porker was rumored to have reached close to 1400 lbs in the 1920s’. Here is a picture of the restored house outside of Charleston.
At this time the first World War raged on, but soon the Kaiser heard about the hog and realized that an army of giant hogs would make the French surrender quicker than you can say.. welll.. we surrender. He said “ I Vant That Hog!” and sent an elite hog-napping team to Mississippi.
The train was on the way to Jackson for the state fair when a small explosion derailed the train near a little town called Thornton in Holmes Co. The hog-nappers moved in, shot the lock off the boxcar and entered. This is where their plan went awry. A 1400 lb. dazed and angry hog is hard to grab. Scissors promptly trampled the men half to death and escaped near what is now known as The Christmas Place Plantation.
Three interesting and amazing facts happened that summer.
1. Every hog in the county went crazy within three days of the escape. They tore down fences and hog wire and escaped never to be recaptured.
2. There was a famine that year as every ear of corn was eaten by herds of swine that were only seen in the moonlight. There always seemed to be hundreds eating and standing around a gigantic hog, but were never seen during daylight.
3. That spring people began to see young wild hogs. These quickly grew to giant sizes and have terrorized the delta for decades.
Scissors was recaptured that fall. Still fat and sassy and strangely happy. She went on to win several more world fairs and is a legend in the small sleepy little town of Charleston, MS.
A footnote to this is that the engineer of the train retired to California, with a hatred for hogs that was never relinquished. His great-grandson lives there now and still has the same fever. You can find him at the HOG BLOG.