Sunday, September 4, 2011

Catching Wild Pigs

An old trapper stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.  He walked into the general store.  Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town's local citizens.  The traveler spoke.  "Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?"

Some of the old-timers looked at him like he was crazy.  "You must be a stranger in these parts.  In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs," one old man explained.  "A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!"  He lifted up his leg.  "I lost half my leg here to the pigs of the swamp."

Another said, "Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, fending for themselves.  They're wild and they're dangerous.  You can't trap them.  No man dares go into the swamp by himself."  Every man nodded his head in agreement.

The old trapper said, "Thank you for the warning.  Now, could you direct me to the swamp?"

They told him, but they begged him not to go.  They knew he'd meet a terrible fate.

He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon."  And they did.

Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road.  The townsfolk thought they'd never see him again.

Two weeks later, the man came back.  He bought ten more sacks of corn and headed back down the road toward the swamp.  Two weeks later, he returned and bought ten more sacks of corn.  This went on for three months.  Every week or two the old trapper would come into town, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.  The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation.  People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

One morning, the man came to into town as usual.  Everyone thought he wanted more corn.  He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men was gathered around the stove.  He took off his gloves.

"Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire fifteen wagons and thirty men.  I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they're all hungry.  I've got to get them to market right away."

"You've what in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously.

"I have six thousand hogs penned up.  They haven't eaten for two or three days, and they'll starve if I don't get back there and feed them."

One of the old-timers said, "You mean you've captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?  How did you do that?"

"What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly.

The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right.  They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn't come out.  I dared not get off the wagon.  So I spread corn along behind the wagon.  Every day I'd spread a sack of corn.  The old pigs would have nothing to do with it.  But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes.  So the very young began to eat the corn first.  I did this every day.  Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn.  After all, they were all free; they were not penned up.  They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time."

"The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time.  So I selected a clearing and I started putting the corn in the clearing.  At first, they wouldn't come to the clearing.  It was too far.  It was too open.  But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes.  And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day."

"And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn.  They could still supplement their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted.  After all, they were all free.  They could run in any direction at any time."

"The next step was to get them used to fence posts.  So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing.  I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn't get suspicious.  After all, they were just sticks in the ground, like the trees and the brush.  The corn was there every day.  It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out.  This went on for a week.  They became used to walking into the clearing, getting the corn, and walking back out through the posts."

"The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom.  I left a few openings, so that the older pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail.  It was no real threat to their freedom or independence.  They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time."

"I began to feed them every other day.  On the days I didn't feed them, they still gathered in the clearing.  They squealed and begged me to feed them.  But I only fed them every other day.  I put a second rail around the posts."

"The pigs became more and more desperate for food, because they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots.  They now needed me and my corn every other day.  So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate.  And I put up a third rail around the fence.  But it was still no great threat to their freedom because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will."

"Finally, I put up the fourth rail.  Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well.  Yesterday, I closed the last gate.  And today, I need you to help me take these pigs to the slaughter."

Author Unknown


  1. It seems some of us are ripe for the slaughter!

  2. Government corn tastes mighty good and it's so easy to get. Here piggy, piggy, piggy.

    NoCal Gal

  3. I love this each time I read. so many great lessons. And keeps me aware of how to not become a pig.....

  4. Is that the fairy tale version of food stamps? :)

  5. To: NoCal Gal

    I LOVE your comment. I am still laughing! It's so true.

    "Government corn tastes mighty good and it's so easy to get. Here piggy, piggy, piggy."!!!!



  6. Classic tale of how the wild hog problem could be taken care of. If only the Gov. and private land owners forgot their greed for taxing and selling leases.

  7. We're darn close to the Gov successfully putting that second rung on the gate here, now, in the US.
    Those that naively believe that they're immune to this process, need to study this country's present economy and our taxation regulations and realize we're all being actively corralled as we speak, whether we're hungry or not.
    Even those of us who don't and will not ever eat the gov corn, are still being corralled.

    Don't get too complacent, we can't end up as gov bacon.

  8. What a great story...Too bad the liberals gave the kool aid to the higher education crowd and now there is no freedom because they were too busy drinking the lie...
    And then there are the unions....
    Freedom came with a price and almost everyone forgot that price...

  9. The difference between the pig story and our current reality is that those who are dependent on government today will become really angry if they stop getting their handout.

  10. Funny :).... So so true and yet many still don't
    The fences!

  11. who are the ones the goernment will use to collect us and take us to slaughter.