Dick Hunt's Blog

January 2, 2010

Wilf – He Saved My Life

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:09 pm

He Saved My Life.
by Dick Hunt, October 10th,  2008

When I was a boy of ten years, growing up on a busy Cattle Ranch in Alberta, I came within an ace of losing my life in an attack from a raging 400 pound sow.  On the Ranch, we not only raised cattle and horses but a few sheep and hogs.  When piglets are born, like all mammals they are nursed by their mothers until they can live on grains and residue from the kitchen consisting of vegetable greens and husks, at which point they are weaned.  They are then separated from their mothers in separate pens.  It was at that point one spring day that I got into serious trouble. One of the little pigs had managed to get out of the pen and after looking carefully around (but obviously not carefully enough) to see if any of the adult sows were around, I grabbed the piglet by the hind legs and prepared to put it back in the pen. It squealed in protest.  I learned subsequently that if one picks up a piglet by the ear, a common practice, it will not make a sound. We get too soon old and too late smart.
Almost immediately, I was knocked onto my back by a furious red sow and she was intent on snuffing out my life.  I screamed and my elder brother Wilf then sixteen years of age heard me and came rushing out of the barn, picking up a two by four on the way. I had instinctively put my arms across my face and throat.  Wilf hit the sow across the back without noticeable effect.  The two by four broke in two pieces.  With one piece still in his hands, Wilf then aimed carefully at the sows nose, which was right at my throat.  He had hit the most delicate part of the sows anatomy and she left me.  Wilf picked me up, mopped at the blood that was pouring from my arm and rushed me to the house, about  300 feet away.
I have no illusions whatever that Wilf saved my life by his immediate response to my scream and by instinctively picking up a weapon to save me from extinction. I bear the scars to this day and  instinctively fear large hogs.  My Father shipped the sow to market.  All animals and  birds instinctively guard their young and will rush to their aid in any time of alarm. Most humans do the same but there are examples of behaviour which are very alarming and tragic. A recent example is that of the crowd in Britain screaming to a troubled youth on a high building to jump, which he eventually did.  Or the youth gangs of either gender stabbing or kicking victims to death as a sport.  And of course the horrible practice of terrorists and their car bombs and suicide bombers seeking to inflict the most death and suffering possible  to innocent people. At least the sow was trying to protect her young.

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