It’s 5:30am and the sky is starting to brighten up. The weather is warm and a slightly cool breeze ruffles my hair and raises my spirits.
I walk down the road. It’s a 40 minute walk to my destination and I bask in the quiet calmness that surrounds me and makes its way into every corner and crevice.
It’s peaceful, tranquil, and —
there’s the sound of snorting and hooves in the bush right beside me?
The noise peaks my interest and I look to my right-hand side.
As I slowly creep closer to the bush, the angel (and the rational voice) on my right shoulder shouts: “HAVE YOU NOT SEEN ANY HORROR MOVIES? Those who go towards the scary noise die! Do you honestly want to be that person??”
Yet, the devil on my left shoulder sneers and responds, “don’t you want to know what that noise is coming from? Aren’t you the least bit curious?”
Overpowered by my curiosity, I take a peek into the bushes and see what I had expected to see: a boar.
Its snout is sniffing and snorting as it walks towards my general direction, not having spotted me yet.
What a sight to behold! Such a magnificent creature, yet it did not fit in its surroundings. I had expected boars to be surrounded by the nature of the forest, yet this one was found between houses and apartments. In a way, it felt like a rift had opened between Narnia and my neighbourhood and the boar had stepped right out into the street, because where else would it have come from?
I knew that there was nothing to worry about. If I did not intimidate the creature, it would go merrily on its way. That is, unless it was a mother boar protecting its offspring – then, it would not be as patient with me.
But it wasn’t a mother boar, it was alone, and —
not quite alone, actually.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see them: six plump little baby boars, maybe no more than a few months old.
So cute, so tiny, and so very protected by their mother.
A snort sounds through the air – it’s menacing, impatient, a warning…
And definitely directed at me.
My heartbeat quickens.
The boar snorts again.
And my flight or fight response kicks in just in time as the animal charges towards me.
I run down the road without looking back, trying to find something to jump on to get out of the boar’s reach.
Where do I go? Do I jump on the hood of a car? What if the car has an alarm and it sounds? WHAT ON EARTH DOES ONE DO IN THIS SITUATION?!
It was only as I reached higher ground that I realized that the snorting and the dashing of hooves had stopped. The mama boar was no longer chasing me – most likely it had been to scare me off.
Safe, but frazzled.
And that’s when I began to laugh – because not only had I had the weirdest and most anxiety-ridden encounter, but someone had witnessed the entire episode from inside their car.
So much for being a calm and composed adult, huh?