Saturday, November 19, 2005
Javelina Are Not My Friends
In December 1993, our oldest son was in a marching band competition in Phoenix, and we decided since we went all that way, we would visit some good friends of ours who live in Tucson. Their house was on a desert reserve. While they could build a house on the land, they could not change the landscape. Wild animals and other critters roamed around free to go wherever they wanted. One day, my friend, Terri asked who wanted to take a walk to see where the javelina live. My daughter, and Terri's younger two daughters were the only ones who wanted to come along. How adventurous I felt! Going to see where the javelina live! There might even be some babies! For those who do not know what a javelina is, it is a wild pig. They are called Javelina because of their razor-sharp teeth. (Javelina is Spanish for javelin or spear.) They are very stinky creatures; you may smell a javelina before you see it! Javelina have very poor eyesight, but VERY good hearing and I was warned that if we came upon one, or more, to stand still behind a bush and don't move because they won't be able to see me, and if I don't move they would not be able to hear me, and will go back to their babies once they feel the threat is gone.
So we are walking along, walking along and suddenly Terri says "shhh! There's one now!" We all stopped and within only a few yards from us was a mama javelina! It SAW us! It scraped one of its hooves on the ground and charged! I forgot everything that Terri had told us and I RAN LIKE THE WIND! I heard the beating of hooves behind me but I did NOT look back. I ran and left my ten-year-old daughter to fend for herself! I heard her voice "Mom, DON'T RUN, STOP RUNNING!" I kept going, looking for a tree or something! "MOM DON'T RUN...PLEASE DON'T RUN!" Terri yelled, "DEB STOP RUNNING, IT'S OK, IT'S OK!" and I ran and ran till I found something that looked like a tree and climbed into it...it was a creosote bush! "Ow! Ouch! Ouch!" I cried as I found myself in the middle of that bush! Terri came and was laughing! The girls were all laughing and I was so upset! Terri said "Deb, you should have stopped! It was only a DOG running behind you, the javelina turned back after only a couple of feet!" I looked around to be sure! No javelina around, but the dog was wandering through the bushes! We started walking for home and none too slowly! When we got to the barbed wire fence I leaped over it as agile as an acrobat! I was done with nature walks, at least in the desert southwest!