- - Thursday, April 27, 2017

The noble pig is the most maligned animal of forest and barnyard. The pig sometimes wallows in mud but since he doesn’t sweat that’s the only way he can keep cool when the weather turns warm (and then hot). Pigs actually make good pets. Pigs can be housebroken — not easily, but it can be done — and they’re peaceable and friendly.

And tasty, too. After 24 hours in a hickory smokehouse, slathered with just the right sauce from the old country, the shoulder of a shoat can supply a feast for the gods. You can’t say any of that about certain other animals. No one has devised a sauce to make a cat worth eating, for example.

And now, from Iraq, where something good rarely happens, comes news that pigs have joined the war against terror. Three fighters of the Islamic State, or ISIS, were killed this week in an ambush of stampeding wild boar.

A chief of the Ubaid tribe in Iraq and a supervisor of paramilitary forces in the coalition of tribesmen fighting ISIS, tells the London Times that an ISIS patrol was setting up an ambush, planning to attack a band of tribesmen fleeing a town called Hayija, controlled by ISIS. One of the ISIS fighters examining the lay of the land apparently disturbed a herd of wild pigs, who were minding their own business (as well-behaved pigs will do). The pigs, famous in hinterlands for both cunning and courage, counterattacked.

The ISIS patrol had taken cover in a bed of reeds, trying to organize an attack on opposing tribesmen, when the wild razorbacks ran at them. Unwilling to stand and fight like men, the ISIS fighters were quickly overtaken by the razorbacks, who despite their size, gait and sheer ugliness, readily achieve speeds a running back could envy.

A tribesman told a reporter that the wild pigs abound in the area and are usually peaceful enough when left alone, but once disturbed become ferocious and eager to defend their turf. This time the razorbacks killed 3 ISIS fighters and wounded 5 others. Hot stuff, indeed.

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