"Collared Peccary444" by Benjamint444 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

I am a javelina dancer and this is my story.

Once upon a time, I lived in the wild Southwest, in a small town by the name of Sedona.  I had a predilection for sitting on the back patio in all types of weather, smoking a cigarette; musing on whether Doc Holliday used my property as a privy…apparently in the distant past, he had visited the saloon, Rainbow’s End, at the bottom of my street. I figured he stumbled up, whiskey bottle in hand, on a short walk to a pleasant area, currently my garden. But I doubt Doc ever experienced what I did on that land.

The back patio had a slight elevation and a rustic arbour made from stripped-down trunks of tall pine trees, this shelter was covered by honeysuckle and trumpet vines in the summer, and visited by a variety of birds, including cardinals and hummingbirds. Now and then a falcon swept over, as cats lazed on the roof until after dusk accompanying me in my evening star gazing. We had frequent visitors to our home, scorpions, tarantulas, large snakes, skunks, deer, coyote and javelina. The ‘wild pigs’ visited in groups of three to twenty. They were all sizes, from the large male, ‘boar’ to the tiny babies – they rooted and grazed in our back yard, attempting to enter our fenced garden, driving my dog mad. Javelinas could gut a dog with their sharp tusks in a few seconds, so we never let him loose when they were about.

On the night of the equinox some years back a full moon rose, and I paced inside a bit before midnight, restless, yearning for a bit of the magic that often eeked out into the Sedona hills. I heard a warning growl from the dog and so I went outside to sit on the deck and spy on whatever visitor we had that evening. The pinion pines and junipers threw dark shadows on the fully lit yard, the moon gleamed above. I spied about twenty javelina milling about, little and big blobs on the grass.

I thought, ‘why not try and communicate with them?’ In a dancing mood; I revelled in the full white moon and autumn equinox occurring on the same night, a perfect combination for a bit of crack in the old cosmic egg. After all, it was the witching hour, so I quietly knelt on the grass by the step and eyed the pigs. One small peccary backed up to a larger for safety, but they were relatively unbothered by me and continued their rooting.

I thought, ‘how do they talk to each other? -Probably by grunts and thumps’ and so I grunted a few times, thumping with my hands on the ground in a pattern of three. That got their attention. I let loose, fearless; creating a repetitive pattern of beats and grunts hypnotizing myself into a wild peccary consciousness. As I continually thumped and grunted they became playful running around the grass excitedly. The big male trotted straight up to me interacting, big tusks waving two and fro, running around me in a large circle. He jumped up onto the deck skidding on all fours, toes clicking on the wood to jump down again quickly moving through the back part of the yard; encircling me to jump up again on the deck at a furious pace. Soon the pack followed his call. I thumped and grunted with wild javelina, dancing with manic glee. The sound of twenty pigs skidding on the deck had my dog, locked inside, frantic, he barked, and they grunted, even the brave babies approached me as I now sat on the grass in ecstatic shock, in the middle of the euphoric wild horde, one of them.

The Wild West

The Wild West

We played for about twenty minutes, until the huge boar got tired of the game and slowly, waving his huge tusks, disappeared into the bush. The smallest baby remained partially hidden in the long grass, eyeing me from less than a
foot away, finally turning to run off with the rest.

“They are called Javelina because of their razor-sharp tusks, Spanish for javelin or spear. The Javelina or Collared Peccary is the only wild, native, pig-like animal found in the United States. Cautions – Peccaries are not dangerous when left alone but an entire band can attack if one is wounded or pursued. Speedy and agile, they can drive off dogs, Coyotes and Bobcats.” From http://www.desertusa.com

© 2008 – String – All rights reserved

* As javelina can be dangerous it is not advisable to carry out this exercise.

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