Saturday, November 13, 2010

Porcine Pretenders Pig Out on Pumpkin

Just when you think you don't have anything to write about, friends (well, maybe not friends, exactly...) come to call and give you ammo - I mean inspiration.

What we started with...
 We're talking javelina banging on my front door. Literally. Scared the crap outta my poor fifteen-year-old one-toothed redneck kitty. Took a whole Bounty to picker-upper. The younger cat, Ritz The Fearless, did a standing jump from the floor to the very top of a six-foot mesquite room divider. (The kid has hops.)

For those of you not familiar with the fauna of the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona, javelina (pronounced have-a LEEN-a) look like wild pigs but are actually peccaries, related to hippos. Like pigs, they love to eat things found in garbage like watermelon rinds, corn cobs, and squash. And this time of year, they be lovin' them some pumpkin.

First there were two...
Yes, I should have known better. In fact, I meant to take my kitty-inspired jack o'lantern and roll it down into the arroyo for the wildlife when I got home from work that evening - the night after Halloween, or All Souls Day. But as often happens with this menopausal mama, I became easily distracted and forgot. I'd just tuned in to watch Rick Fox shimmy his handsomeness on Dancing With the Stars when - BAM-SLAM! The front door shook in its hinges.

A huge crash followed: the cast-iron plant stand slamming to the concrete, shattering the two-foot pot the jack o'lantern had sat on and dumping potting soil and pumpkin across the entryway.  Then through the open windows wafted the distinct pungent perfume of musky rancid elephant doo-doo and I immediately knew the javelina had grown impatient with my lackadaisical waitress schtick and had opted for the self-serve buffet.

Baby between the two on the left
One thing you should know about these creatures: they look cute (especially the babies) but they are certainly not harmless. A pack of peccaries disemboweled one of the neighborhood Golden Retrievers a few years ago. Those teeth are sharp and fully grown males have tusks every bit as lethal as a boar's. They don't see well and are extremely territorial around their young. So forgive me, Governor Brewer, but I had no intention of enforcing SB1070 and demand to see verification that they were in the US legally. I stood behind the door and stuck the camera out with one hand to snap photos.

Piggin' Out on Pumpkin
It started with two. Then they called the cousins - which is really frustrating because my cell phone doesn't work in the house but they somehow got 4G service: the word went out fast. Suddenly my front yard was Peccary Place. Mamas brought the babies, and Daddies strutted around grunting like my husband and his friends at a tailgate party. They made short work of the pumpkin but milled around waiting for free refills for the next three hours. Picky, these peccaries: they didn't even nibble on the other big pot full of vinca by the front door. For which I am grateful.

Bet they gave me a horrible restaurant review. I'll have to do worse next year...


~Jude

www.scorchedhawkpress.com


 

7 comments:

Linda Rettstatt said...

OMG, this is a riot. And I thought dealing with pine roaches was bad. I can at least squash those.

Jude Johnson said...

Oh you would not believe how these babies stink! lol

Big Mike said...

Ummmm, look mighty tasty.

BM

Jude Johnson said...

LOL BM- "it's BACON!"

Victoria Roder said...

I know they are kind of cute, but wild pig-looking-creatures freak me out! I'd buy foam or plastic pumpkins next year.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Wow, Jude - this is a whole new education for me seeing and hearing about these creatures! Love the way you describe it all.

Jude Johnson said...

Thanks, Rosemary! And Victoria, I actually have a foam pumpkin with a light inside, but it seemed kinda wimpy, like I was too lazy to carve a pumpkin. So I put that one in the mailbox light. We only had three groups of little kids come to the door, but they all liked the kitty o'lantern. I usually make a point of not feeding the wildlife anywhere near the house, since bigger creatures like to come and eat the herbivores.