Wild Boar on Christmas Day – Ronnie Goodyer

Abegail Morley

Wild Boar on Christmas Day

We walked into the Christmas morning,
shadows of the trees left russet, delaying
the evergreen paths for another moment
in my life-walks with a collie. This time
his chosen offering to Gaia was a yellow
rubber ring that hung from slightly parted
jaws and had done for most of the morning.
Collie grenade.

Along the cornflake leaves and sparkling
mud, crisped by the night before Christmas,
we were just above the M.O.D. fields when
a louder-than-customary rustle heralded
the entrance of a wild boar. Morning patrol,
the male emerging to stand across the path,
just his protecting frame barring us invaders.
Tank pig.

Still, with his impasto red-brown armour,
his spine bristles erect, his regiment
snuffled behind to the camouflage bracken,
three smaller recruits still in their training
uniform of mink stripes. He rejoined them
on their elliptical circuit, semi-ungulate
tracks left on the softer…

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