Is that it I hear in the woods as I stand alone feeding my hogs? Is that it I smell? My heart tries to race with fear, but my mind tells it no. It is only the rustling of the leaves blowing in the wind, the sounds of little critters playing in the cover of trees, the smell of my own hogs as the spring temperatures rise.
Supper is over. Alissa runs to play in her room, and Jake runs outside to find his daddy. I remain in the kitchen finishing up the cleaning. In and out a couple of times little Jake runs wanting to know where Daddy is. For one last searching trip to the front he heads. I turn to put away some little something, and there I catch the sight from the kitchen that has no window but only a view from the adjacent breakfast room. No, the eyes are playing tricks with the shadows again. There is nothing there, but the heart commands the eyes not to move as hard as they try to look away. There is a black bear in the field, my baby is running around somewhere out there, and what is that I see moving just now? The brain commands the eyes to focus. Hogs! I run to the front to find Jake. Praise God both he and his Daddy are on the front porch! I feel sick as Bill asks me what's wrong. "What's wrong?" I want to sarcastically repeat at him. Is he not sitting on the front porch seeing right in front of him what I saw from a windowless kitchen?!? Better yet, can he still not see what I still see that was not spooked off when I ran out of a noisy front door? Are my eyes still playing mean tricks? Feeling rather dumb, I ask, "Is that not the hogs?" He looks up and scans the field before replying, "Oh, I guess it is." Then he tells Jake and me to be quiet. Really? I just run through the house, tear open a terribly noisy front door to rescue my baby, stand on the porch talking about hogs that had remained invisible to eyes that looked out over them, and now I have to be quiet so they won't run off?
Satisfied that my baby was safe and my husband was still crazy :), I went back through the noisy door only to find my little girl had slipped out the garage door to head to the swing set, completely unaware of the terror that lay in the field in front of her. Though I knew Bill was outside, the sight of my precious little girl within seventy-five yards of those vile creatures (okay, maybe that was a little exaggerated?) turned my blood cold. I've seen them run. I know how quick they are. I quietly gathered her back into the house. The sprinklers came on causing the smelly creatures to become mildly concerned enough to return to the woods. Why can't they find some other woods besides the woods that border my children's swing set, the animals, and me? So much for my hopes of a garden this year.
The reality is here again. What I already knew without seeing, has made itself known by sight. It is spring, and the hogs have returned. Even if they are just passing through to somewhere beyond, as Bill tries to tell me, they are still passing too closely for me. Gone is my beautiful carefree spring. Gone is my false sense of security. My already heightened sense of alarm will be even more heightened until late September or November when the hogs are gone again. How in the world am I supposed to let my children play on their new swing set, and how am I supposed to not be afraid to go feed the animals? It is already after 9:00 in the morning, and I am dreading going up to feed them. I've normally already fed the hogs and turned out the chickens by now. I don't like feeling like a prisoner of my own home and land. All I can do is pray for God's protection...and ask for a holster for Mother's Day! ;)
|These are very young wild hogs from late last summer.|
|This is one of the hogs Bill killed last summer. It made a couple|
of nice meals!