The Wild Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Medium

A stranger halts his horse and wagon alongside a general store on the fringe of the untamed Okefenokee Swamp.

He calls over: “I’m here to catch pigs.”

The locals burst out laughing. “Those wild, dangerous beasts? No chance.”

“The most powerful guns won’t stop them. Go home”

“I lost my leg escaping the pigs, stranger. Turn around.”

“I wanted to buy some corn, actually”, he says. So the old timers sell him the corn and he goes on his way. And every week he passes by the store to buy more corn on his way to the swamp.

And every time the hunters shake their heads, tap their guns and the months pass until one day the stranger says: “Gentlemen, I need help to take 600 pigs to market.”

To stunned silence he explains how he did it: “First I put some corn on the edge of a clearing. Each week I led the trail closer to the center.”

First, the young pigs but eventually even the largest, fiercest pigs could not resist the lure of easy food.

“They stopped fearing me and one yard at a time I built a pen. Eyes on the corn — they never even noticed the fence going up.“

“It’s not possible!” gasped the old-timers. “That’s not hunting!”

“Oh it is”, he said. “And this morning I shut the gate.”

This fable, which I first came across in an article written by Steve Washam, is a two sided morality tale. Both sides beg one thing: Use your mind.

1. The stranger challenges old methods of catching pigs and thus triumphs.

2. The pigs cease thinking and fail to see that gradually (and helpfully) they are being fenced in.

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