Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Red Death

Everyone at camp has noticed Tent’s sudden overwhelming desire to hunt hogs lately. In fact, it has become almost an obsession to him. If you ask, he will tell you that he really enjoys it and it is a lot of fun. This is odd in several ways with the most obvious being that he is a die hard big buck hunter. In his life anything else has always been secondary.
Quail, doves, ducks, squirrels, turkey or anything else has not interested him in the slightest. The obsession with hogs has been very strange and until this past Watermelon Carnival I never understood it.
We had made it through the 100 degree heat of the day, toured the Carnival a dozen times, met all our old friends, hit the street dance and watched the fireworks display. We had had enough and we moved to the porch of my office and listened to the music as the hour got late. We sipped our drinks and talked. Denise and I, Paul and Wanda, Bobby Suratt, Shelley and Trent, Holly and Dennis, Bob and Marian and numerous others that came and went after a cold beer or drink. the night wore on and one by one all of our friends headed for the house until just Trent and I were left alone on the porch to sip our drinks. Bobby Suratt was fast asleep in a lawn chair and his gentle snores were the only distraction after the band had left and the lights in the park slowly went out for the night.
We sat there enjoying the last few minutes before we had to go and out of the blue Trent said “I know you’ve been wondering why I am hog hunting so much” I answered that I was and he said “I’m going to tell you something no one else knows” I took a drink and waited for him to continue. He said “You still have that little light on your keychain?” I did and he stood, dropped his pants and sat back down. “Get it and look at my leg” he said. I got it out and turned the penlight on and looked.
There was a hole in his thigh almost as big around as my thumb. The edges looked puckered but the skin looked stretched not ripped. He pulled his pants up and I asked “What happened”
“I came down from the Arrowhead field at dark and walked to the bottom. I was hoping to catch a hog out in the open while I could still see. As I reached the edge of the fields, I was hit from behind and lifted off my feet. I had dropped my rifle and saw that I was laid back across the biggest hog I had ever seen. It shook it’s head sideways and I went rolling off into the brush and landed in the middle of a dead tree.” I didn’t say a word, just waited. Trent said “The hog didn’t waste any time and came after me. I had rolled into the dead tree and scooted my body behind the trunk of what was left of the 12 inch tree and the hog came down right against the tree and my chest. It gored the tree while it’s eyes stared right in my face from 6 inches away. I could see the hate in its eyes. I couldn’t breath and fought to keep it from getting me and finally I quit moving and pretended to be dead. A minute later it stopped, stared at me a minute and trotted off into the woods. I found this hole in my thigh later but it has never hurt even though it looks awful.”
“That hog was solid red and would easily weigh 600 pounds. Its tusks were 5 or 6 inches long. I’m going to kill that SOB no matter what it takes.”