“Bounding through the bush, knife drawn, in pursuit of an angry and unpredictable boar; Gary Ablett became a blur amid the trees moving expertly across uneven terrain. Such was his strength and primal instincts”
– from “Playing God. The rise and fall of Gary Ablett”.
IT sounded pretty impressive until I heard the story about a girl I know doing something very similar.She is feminine, petite, slight and gentle, less than 162cm tall and weighing 50kgs – the size of your average feral pig.
Ablett was one described by journalist Andrew Rule as: “Knotted muscles and raw bones… thighs like turkey drumsticks, his neck buttressed with a sloping ridge of muscle that links long, powerful arms. Like a silverback gorilla”.
The difference is our heroine wasn’t among a bunch of hairy males packed into an old ute hunting feral pigs for sport.
Hearing the familiar but frightening noise of a feral pig and hunting dog locked in a standoff, she was forced to engage a dormant primal instinct in order to protect the dog she loved from certain death.
One of her husband’s hunting dogs escaped its compound and had cornered a wild pig behind a large fence at the back of the family’s small acreage, just south of Canberra.
Unable to see exactly what was going on she knew she must act and quickly. She rang her husband at work who told her that she “must kill the pig”.
If the frenzied stalemate continued the hunting dog would eventually die from exhaustion as its instinct is not to retreat.
Most us, with little or no wild pig slaying experience on our CVs, would respond to the “pig must be killed” directive similarly: “Now, let me get this straight, you want me to go down there and place myself in the mix of a wild pig (of unspecified proportions) locked in mortal combat with a dog that is trained to kill or die in the process and pierce the wild pig’s heart with a knife?” Too easy.
Without question or alarm, she quickly secured her children in the house, mounted a quad bike and, with a dog lead wrapped around her waist (for the return trip with hopefully a living dog attached), armed herself with a knife and juggling her mobile phone on which her husband was giving instructions, she headed towards the unfolding massacre, even though she’d never killed a living thing.
For the record, our rookie pig slayer had witnessed the method by which an experienced hunter permanently disabled a wild pig during a rare hunting trip with her husband.
But before landing the fatal blow there was just one other, small detail to be addressed: disengage the wild pig from the contest without allowing it to turn on her.
The trick to incapacitating a wild pig is to grab it by the hind legs and tip it over on its back, then plunge the knife into its heart.
After one failed attempt at “flipping” the pig, which one would suspect was getting crankier by this point, she retreated to the relative safety of the high fence atop of which was a mobile phone broadcasting precise instructions for her to “kill”.
Oh and did I mention our passive pig-slayer had been to the gym and was still kitted out in her tights and whatever else one wears to the gym?
Just imagine Lorna Jane in full kit suddenly leaping into the fray, instead of the usual John Rambo in fatigues, and competently delivers the fatal blow. Splattered with pig blood and dog spittle, her first pig kill under her belt, she calmly put an exhausted but grateful dog on the back of the quad and headed back to the house.
In the hours following her courageous intervention, this young woman, who’s probably never heard of the footy champion they still call god, got on with the more mundane tasks of running a family.
However, she can legitimately boast similar pig-slaying prowess to the Geelong legend. But my guess is she won’t.
This is an edited version from Mike Welsh’s blog “Mockery of Shockjockery, thoughts of an ex radio shockjock”.