Cousin Rufus Meets Feral Hogs


Dear Cousin Cletus,

Well, we got fall weather this go ‘round. The leaves is a turnin’ and the crickets and katydids sing me to sleep here in the holler. It’s about time to put mah pumpkins and squash in the cellar an’ git mah fahrwood stacked by the door.

Me an’ mah grandson Harley went huntin’ wild hogs last week. He calls ‘em feral hogs. I thought at first he wuz sayin’ federal hogs, but he says, “No Gramps, ah sed feral hogs.”

So ah sez, “What in tarnation is a feral hog?”

“It’s something wild or savage,” he sez. “Somethin’ thet never got domesticated or cultivated.” (He likes to use them big words on me.)

Wild and savage wuz the right thang to call ‘em, Cletus. They been comin’ at night and tearin’ up mah garden patch. So we went after ‘em ‘fore they et all mah produce.

Mah grandson is purty smart. He knows how to catch ‘em. You know whut he did? First he built one side of a fence and dumped some corn on the ground beside it. Them savage critters loved it! They come at night and et up all the corn.

Next day he made another side of fence and dumped more corn between the two sides. Them feral hogs wuz back thet night and et up all the free food, ignorin' the fence panels.

The third night and the fourth, Harley finished the fence but didn’t put no gate on the pen. He kept dumpin’ corn inside the fence and sure ‘nuff, them wild hogs come runnin’ to git the free food.

All the time them hogs didn’t pay no attention to thet fence. They wuz too dumb to see the danger. All they wanted wuz stuff give to ‘em thet they didn’t have to work to git.

Next, Harley put a gate on the pen but didn’t shut it. Them hogs come runnin’ to git whut they didn’t have to work fer no more.

The last night wuz whut got ‘em in trouble. Harley crept up an’ shut the gate behind them hogs as they wuz chowin’ down on the free food. And there they wuz with no way to escape. We had ‘em, easy as thet.

Hit makes me think o’ life outside the holler, Cletus. I feels sorry fer them folks whut gits excited ‘bout stuff they don’t have to work fer no more. Ah guess they didn't have a Granddaddy to tell 'em there’s a price to pay fer dependin’ on others.

An’ thet’s life in the holler, Cletus. Y’all come see us sometime. We’ll go down to Lem’s Gen’ral Store and git us a orange sodee pop.

Yer cuz,

Rufus

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