Stories from the Outdoors

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Mr. and Mrs. Perry Meet the Javelinas

Submitted by Cindy Perry

Two years ago on a cool morning, my husband Mike and I were hiking the Sam Nail Ranch Trail in Big Bend National Park. We were headed--quietly we thought--toward the operating windmill to see if any birds or wildlife might be drinking there.

We came around a slight bend in the trail, only to face a large herd of javelina adults and babies. Fortunately we were about 10 yards away. We froze. They froze. All of us started scrambling for cover! First, the babies ran into nearby brush followed by their mamas. Only the biggest male javelina stood between us and our path back to the car. We dared not get him riled so we started backing up, but Big Guy then decided to escape with his herd. Mike and I breathed a sigh of relief and walked cautiously past the brush where the javelinas had taken refuge.

Back at the car, we looked at each other and started laughing uncontrollably. The entire scene of startled humans meet startled peccaries must have looked like an episode of the Three Stooges or Keystone Kops (you have to be old to know who they are!) I knew/know not to try to tangle with javelinas, cute as they may be. Still, it was a delightful experience which, in retelling the tale, never fails to make us laugh.