Tuthic and the Boar (Day 10)

“It’s not a pig, it’s a boar,” Tuthic explained as the color began rising up his face. “You best keep your hands away from his snout or you’ll be 2 less fingers and likely a bloody mess before you can scream.” A devilish smile fell upon his face as he pulled the leash taught to reinforce the suggestion.

The other kids backed away slowly, pulling their pigs along with them. His older brother always told him that it was better to be feared than it was to be liked, at least in the world of competitive hog racing. Tuthic had fought with the committee that runs the annual fair since the first spring flowers, getting their approval for him to enter his boar into the contest. There was a lot of debate about whether it was fair to have another bread in the race, but after so many visits, letters, and general nagging, the committee had relinquished their position just to get some peace and quiet again. That is how Tuthic came to compete for the first time this year.

He lead the boar to the starting paddock, talking to him with a gentle tone. “Alright, now today is the day you prove those sissies wrong. Today, you go out there and do what I taught you: charge, and keep charging until you hit something that will stop ya.” The boar snorted approval, and shook his body in a wave originating from the back of his neck and flowing down to his hind legs. “Shake off those nerves. You are the best boar a boy could have, and one day, I’m going to ride you. Until that day comes, you need to win. So win!”

He pushed the boar into the cage, his small tusks clanging against the iron gate. Looking around at the group, the boar had at least 2 stone on all of the other swines, but he was full of muscle, not fat. Tuthic knew it was going to be entertaining.

Tuthic and the other trainers cleared the area and hopped over the hedges, awaiting for the signal. The chief took out a large warhammer and a heavy shield, raising them high in the air before he handed the shield over to a servant. He put both hands on the warhammer and swung it true against the center of the shield, ringing loudly and sending the servant to the dirt below. The gates were up and the race was on!

In truth, the race was quickly between two contestants: the boar and a spry pig who had the acceleration of lightning. The boar was in second place and closing fast, but it was running out of dirt before the finish line. At 30 meters from the finish line, the boar dropped his snout and charged toward his target. It happened in an instant, as the pig was impaled upon the little tusks and tossed aside like a rag doll as the boar crossed the finish line, alone.

The crowd was in shock, but Tuthic didn’t care; the boar had done everything he was trained to do. Tuthic ran up to the boar and wrapped his arms around his heaving belly. “That’s my boy! You and me, we’re going to do great things in the future.”

This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.

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