Voices From the Crowd: Anton Killed the Boar!

My grandfather Clint used to reminisce about his youth in a small Iowa farming town that was settled by Swedish immigrants.

He was part of a pack of teenage boys who were prone to getting into trouble if they weren’t fully employed doing some kind of useful work.

The boys, on this particular day happened to be at Anton’s family farm.  Anton’s dad gave the crew a job.  He told them to go and butcher a hog.  These young men had grown up helping to make meat so this should have been a routine request.  But unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

Anton, with the maul and knife, left his accomplices at the gate and tiptoed into the hog lot.  It was full of sleeping pigs.  He picked out a large, fat one and with a mighty swing of his big hammer, dealt a crushing blow between the eyes of his intended victim.

The rest of the pigs erupted and scattered in a squealing mass of confusion.  Poor Anton was left standing alone over what he now realized was the herd boar.

The pedigreed boar was the most valuable animal in the pen.  Unless a boar has been castrated and allowed to heal for several months it’s meat is inedible.

As Anton began to grasp the seriousness of his mistake there arose from his buddies, just outside the fence, the now famous cry, “Anton Killed the Boar!”

Knowing a bit about teenage boys I suspect that they were both horrified at the trouble they were in and delighted by the cosmic joke that they had been privileged to participate in.

The story quickly spread around the community and over time became part of the local folklore.

More than fifty years later, when visiting back home, grandpa stepped onto main street and with an exaggerated Swedish accent shouted out…

“Anton Killed the Boar!”

A white haired loafer on a bench laughed and gramps knew he’d found a member of his old gang.