The crashing in the undergrowth was accompanied by a lot snorting, squealing and excited barking. I’d already taken cover behind the biggest tree I could find at such short notice, but it had the diameter of a saucer and I now rotated around it like a terrified pole dancer as I tried to work out where the wild boar were going to come from.
The sound of branches snapping and big animals running was all around us now. Our gentle and usually unadventurous sheep dogs had decided that a bit of excitement was in order for our afternoon stroll. When they had picked up the scent of the wild boar they had raced after them in a frenzy of yapping and were now driving them towards us.
My husband bent down and picked up a large stone. For some reason I didn’t feel very comforted. He’d never done that before and we encountered the odd wild boar fairly regularly. It was going to be close.
They burst out of the bushes twenty yards away with the dogs right behind them. I counted Six. Six! Their russet coloured fur showed that they were still young and probably only thigh-high, but as they charged towards me they seemed to take on buffalo proportions. My husband uttered a guttural yell that would have made Tarzan proud and threw his stone at the first ones which by now were at spitting distance.
He missed, but the animals did an about-turn and for a moment there was a mêlée of dogs and wild boar, as each tried to escape the other. Then the boar took off after the dogs and the woods became quiet again.
I let go of the tree, realizing only then that I’d been hugging it so hard that the pattern from the bark was probably printed on my cheek.