Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Did the Javelina Cross the Road?

When was the last time we played a game? I don't remember either, but since it's Friday and I've given up blogging, it's as good a filler as any, right?

Last time we wrote short-short (short!) stories about an old guy in Bermuda shorts. This time, since I recently re-read Watership Down, we're writing about . . . a javelina. For those of you unfortunate to live north of AZ, here's a little zoological info:

The collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) commonly known as the javelina, is found as far south as Argentina and as far north as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Collared peccaries are in the even-toed, hoofed mammal order of Artiodactyla. Javelinas are often called pigs but they really are not. They eat a wide variety of fruit, tubers, acorns, grass, prickly pears, mesquite beans, every bulb I've ever planted, and tons of the bird food my mother puts out for her feathered friends. According to a government site I just perused, they are not nocturnal, but I've never seen one jogging down our street or munching away in our yard much before twilight or after dawn. (Clearly, the one in the following picture is nobody I know personally.)

So . . . today's challenge is to write a short-short-short story (two paragraphs, max) explaining why the peccary (javelina) crossed the road. We'll close entries Saturday at midnight and vote through next Thursday, midnight. Winner gets a small stuffed javelina and a jar of prickly pear jelly -- the favorite treat of desert non-pigs everywhere!


At 9/18/2009 12:10 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

I'm thinking along the lines of a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull type introspective. I'll get back to you after I make pizza for the sprogs. If I win you'll be bankrupted by the postage costs!

At 9/18/2009 3:58 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

The only javalina I've ever known personally crossed the road to wander into our front yard. It was only a baby and was looking for food. Foolish us, we fed it. And it turned into the best "watch dog" we ever had. Of course, the postman, friends and visiting family members couldn't get past the darn thing to get to the front door, but we felt safe. :)

At 9/18/2009 5:40 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Once upon a time there was a javelina named Angelina. She was not married to another peccary named Brad, nor did she have many adopted children with said peccary. Although she did know another peccary named Brad.
It was Brad the javelina (and not Brad the actor) that caused Angelina to cross the road this fine day. You see, Brad was on the left and so Angelina quite needed to be on the right--and it had nothing to do whatsoever to do with his marriage proposal. Except that it did.
The End.

At 9/18/2009 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bet you didn't know that for centuries the indigenous peoples of Meso America have treated the peccary as a house pet, much like a dog (not a cat---who would want a cat as a pet?). The Peccary demonstrates all the sensibilites of a dog. Plays with the kids. Doesn't bite (excpet cats). Protector. Loyal. Chases cats up trees.

Dogs (canines) were everywhere present in Lehi's Jerusalem, but not to be found in the Americas until after Book of Mormon times.
Is it possible that the mention of the dog in the Book of Mormon, was actually a reference to a peccary? Pretty like yes.

And to qualify for the contest: Why did the peccary cross the road? To visit Laman, of course.

At 9/18/2009 7:05 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

(I apologize in advance, I originally thought I was going in a more humorous direction.)

Cary had just come out of his den when he noticed a peculiar smell in the air. It did not remind him of his fellow herd-mates; in fact, he had never come across this particular aroma in his life. Curious, he trotted through the scraggly brush only pausing twice to rub his tusks together to warn off a couple of stray coyotes. He soon realized that he had traveled farther from his own territory than ever before. He had been lost in musings about his quarry, which he was certain by then was some sort of delicious feast, much better than those roots and
vegetables he obtained from what his fellow javelinas called "Brr Key Lair", home to those tall creatures.

He stopped at a strange path that stretched out as far as he could. Admittedly, that was not very far, but he could sense that it went far indeed. On the other side of
the odd path was a strewn pile that resembled that which the Lair People put in hard buckets, but oh, it smelled so much better! He had only taken a couple of steps
on the hard surface when a large predator appeared, with eyes that shone like the sun! It came at him fast as a desert storm emitting a loud growl. Cary's last thought was of the aromatic treasure as the car ran over him in the night.

At 9/18/2009 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the real story of why that cute little javelina is crossing that desert road...

The truck’s hood came down with a hard bang.

“That’ll do her,” Cletus said as he wiped his dirty hand across his face, leaving a muddy swatch to drip down his temple instead of sweat. He limped his way back around to the driver’s seat and slid over the duct-tapped vinyl seat, grasping the steering wheel for leverage. As he twisted the ignition’s key and started the engine, he said, “Call the children.”

Without removing her bare feet from the edge of the passenger window, Flora lifted her face and yelled, “Get back in the camper, kids!”

“Heck, Flora,” Cletus said, flicking his wife on the back of the head with his fingers, “Do ya’ think they heard ya’ in Gila Bend?” He turned and stared out the windowless pass-through between the cab and the truck’s camper. “Why didn’t ya’ get out and fetch the young ‘uns?”

“Are they a commin’?”

“Uh, huh,” he said as the old truck rocked with motion.

“Then I didn’t need ta.” Flora sighed. “When are we stoppin’ for the night? I’m gettin’ hungry.”

“I’d say maybe another hour or so,” Cletus said as he drove along a back road and further away from the main highway. “Then we’ll set up camp.”

“Daddy, Daddy!” Mirabelle cried as she leaned over the windowless opening next to her mother’s face. “Oscar got away, Daddy!”

Flora quickly sat up. “No, dang it!”

Cletus shook his head. “I told you, Flora. You should’a made sure ever-body got in. Now we ain’t got no darn pig for dinner.”

“You were going to eat my pet?” Mirabella cried louder.

Bobby pushed his sister’s shoulder. “I’da run away too if I was gonna’ be et. I bet that pig’s miles away from here by now, hich’n a ride.”

(I don't blame him. Do you?)


At 9/18/2009 8:01 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Those are some pretty good stories! Thanks! And you'll be glad you entered! The prize just keeps getting better and better. Someone wrote to ask if I'd include a copy of Closing In (it has javelina in it), if (s)he won and I said I would. I guess that should go for the rest of you as well. Since the book's out of print, you can only get it from me for free or the thrift store for a dime. (Sariah could figure out how to get me to pay her to take it, of course, but the rest of you have to play along.)

Anon: I did NOT know that about peccaries. Interesting, indeed. I have no doubt the hoary guys from the gully would be more than happy to move into the house with us. They are not, however, as adorable as you and Traci make them sound. Ever seen Old Yeller? Our peccaries are descended from that kind of not-pigs.

Traci: I was in Clarkdale last weekend and thought of you! :)

Jon: If I were the suspicious type, I would wonder about the names in your story. Oh, wait! I AM the suspicious type. If you win, I'll try to come up with an extra little something for you. (Hint: javelinas leave it behind in the mornings . . .)

At 9/18/2009 8:34 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

We can't go on together
With suspicious minds...

Glad to see you back, Kerry!

At 9/20/2009 3:11 AM, Blogger middle age mormon mother said...

Jock and Jerry Javelina weren't sure where they were. They had been out in the desert chasing those light skinned, two-legged creatures that kept trying to cut down their shade trees when all of the sudden their surroundings looked less familiar. What were these buildings? What was this black stuff they were walking on? What kind of animals were those across the way? They looked like they could be relatives, but not quite.
"Hey Jock, let's cross this solid black river and ask the natives for directions."
"Sounds good, Jerry."
"Yo Buddy Boy, where in the heck are we?"
"My turf and you better get off of it right now before my human comes out and sees you."
"Human? You mean those tall, stupid creatures who aren't smart enough to use all four legs?"
"Yup, and there's one of them right now. You're in big trouble. I've seen this before. He's going to call the cops and you'll be goners."
"I'm not worried. I think we'll just rest here under this bush and then try to head for home."
A few minutes later Jock and Jerry heard a loud howl coming for a very fast animal with four black feet and a red horn on his head. The creature came to a stop and regurgitated two humans waving some kind of a stick. Boom, boom!! Jerry and Jock were no more.
This is a true story about what happens to Javelinas who cross the road on the reservation. If I win the prize you can keep it. There are enough prickly pears around here that I could make my own jelly and my in law's dog just gave birth to a puppy that bears a strong resemblance to a small, stuffed javelina. The book is tempting, but I just bought it at the thrift store for 10 cents.


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