|It is however with great trepidation, that I once more put pen to paper and reveal the facts that occurred when I first trod that perilous path and attempted to be an accomplished porcine exterminator. This may not impress some readers, but it should be noted that here in Mashonaland we grow the wild pig so large that they are often mistaken for Aberdeen Angus cattle, and the guinea fowl get so big that they have to go down on their knees to eat out of a forty-four gallon drum.
Anyway, in pursuit of this new interest, I have striven to hone my courage to a fine edge, and with an almost religious awe, read articles in this same magazine by prominent hunters and accomplished men of such veritable genius and magnitude, they are able to pin point and even do diagrams of any animalís anatomy from a pulsating sphincter muscle to an artery. I doubt that I will ever reach such peaks of wisdom, or that my photo will ever grace those glossy pages of an S.C.I. magazine, but I shall relate my two amateurish attempts at fame.
The first incident began with one of my herdsman discovering two porkers sleeping away the midday heat under an acacia tree that had fallen across the road and been dragged off with a tractor but had still continued to grow. After I had received this urgent summons, I grabbed the first weapon close to hand - a much used F.N. which had lost most of its blueing and still had the use of automatic fire. In those days our country was still gripped in a national conflict of interests and these weapons were not frowned upon by the authorities of the day. The herdsman and I left my Mazda bakkie and walked down the farm road with dense vegetation on either side and a farm boundary fence on the right hand side immediately next to the road. On my guideís assurance that the hog was fairly close, I cocked the weapon and immediately went into Rambo mode, ready to take on the world single handed. Slightly ahead of us at this time was the acacia that had fallen across the road and been dragged to the side, and as we got up to it I was about to question my fearless guide as to the whereabouts of the hog when he suddenly began to jump up and down gesticulating wildly. I must confess to not feeling that sudden adrenaline rush, but was unsure as to whether he had succumbed to a flea infestation, or this was pure unadulterated excitement in its rawest form. He was now jabbering like a gerbil in a snake-pit and pointing at the fallen tree some three metres away. The focus of all this attention was a fairly thick patch of grass under the acacia, seemingly devoid of any form of life, so I boldly stepped forward parting the grass with the barrel of the weapon. What followed took only seconds, but time seemed to crawl slower than pelican poop in a pool of mud.
Lo and behold, two very unamused pigs woken from their slumbers,and suddenly bounced up snorting and grunting. Whether it was intentional or not, I wouldnít know, but they both came barrelling towards me. In a panic stricken bid to save my hide I fired wildly hardly noticing that the weapon was on auto and back pedalled at speed, but I forgot about the fence? Until then I had been doing fairly well, empty brass cases flying all over the place, but when I backed up against the fence I realised there was an immediate problem and could envision both of these porkers gnawing away at my legs, so I tried a rather awkward backward flip-come-dive to get over the fenceline.
I almost pulled it off.
I had, however, forgotten to release the trigger as I went over and a hail of bullets riddled the bark of a tree then neatly trimmed the foliage overhead as I executed a rather dreadful Flosbury flop with the grace of a pregnant aardvark. My guide was by now just a blur as he leapt out of the prospective line of fire and attempted to side step the screaming hogs. My promised bump to earth was somehow put on hold, and the chattering weapon came to a stop as I felt a sharp pain in my calf. My thoughts were in turmoil. I didnít know whether the hogs had me or if I had shot myself, and I dropped the weapon as my shoulders hit the ground, but one leg refused to follow my body. Hanging upside down like an amorous fruit bat, legs apart and genitalia exposed, I had an agonizing vision of a hog charging off into the sunset with my testis gripped firmly in its jaws. I began to scream and shout imagining them lacerating my buttocks with uncotrollable delight, when I realised that my present posture was not natural, and I saw that my leg had been snagged by the barbed wire fence.
I saw this position as a prelude to disaster, and in this vulnerable position didnít know whether to s*!t or go blind, but if the fires of anxiety were burning, I was positively ablaze and hadnít realised that the hogs attack had been stalled. My continuous screaming forced me to stop for a breath of air and I turned my head to notice that one of the hogs lay dead on the road before me. People tell me they feel a sense of remorse, a great surge of grief inspired pity. Bull! I was overjoyed, if I had failed, that porker was going to eat my ass. By some miraculous intervention from the Goddess Diana, a lucky shot had pinned the hog in the brain and the second one had departed the scene, but my sphincter muscle was still a victim of serious overload and a chain of wind pockets must have been jostling and shoving each other to escape. When the situation had returned to some semblance of normality, I eventually managed to free my leg and right myself.