Creepy Local Legends

| 10/27/2009 5:27:12 PM

Urban legend: n (1979), an often lurid story or anecdote that is based on hearsay and widely circulated as true; often called urban myth.

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgThe term “urban legend” may have been coined in 1979, but these kinds of tales have been in existence since man began storytelling. Many of them may have a basis of truth, but it’s so far buried in embellishments as the story is circulated that it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Some of these stories are now termed “folklore.” Others are so engrained in our history that they’re considered accurate accounts of actual events.

An odd story I heard recently made me ponder what makes a good urban legend, and how they get started.

This spring a local man purchased two pigs, a male and female. He never penned them, neither did he feed them, turning them loose to run wild and forage on their own instead. This has been going on for three or four years – every spring he buys two pigs, and turns them loose for the season. No one quite knows why, or what he does with them – whether he catches them in the fall, and takes them to slaughter, or if they are still left to roam the woods, neighboring farms, and property of other residents in the area.

There were nine pigs total this summer – the boar, sow, and their seven piglets. They’ve been charging through the area and leaving in their wake a swath of destruction likened to “a snow plow run amok” in farming fields and residents’ yards. As the pigs root for food they’ve created networks of ruts more than a foot deep. The neighbors have been “terrorized.” My boss, who told me the story, has a friend who is one of victims of the feral pigs. Not only has her yard been destroyed, but her dog, “Honey Bear,” has been chased by the boar.

The pig owner has been cited and fined numerous times in past years by Animal Control; this year was no exception, although it doesn’t seem to have any effect. In fact, he reportedly told the Animal Control officer that he didn’t care what happened to the pigs, and to do with them what they wanted. Since then, four of the young ones have been caught in large catch-and-release Havahart traps.

Michelle House
11/8/2009 8:28:14 PM

I will just remember not to go near any melon patches. LOL, my grands (oldest is almost 10) already knows some, thanks to his older cousins. LOL

Cindy Murphy
11/2/2009 9:40:29 PM

Ah, but now you have, Michelle. And so have I. I wonder if next time I go walking in the woods around Saugatuck Dunes, if I'll be wishing I hadn't! Urban legends have a way of creeping up on you...the stories, that is, not necessarily the things they're about.

Michelle House
11/2/2009 1:41:16 PM

Cindy, LOL. I love urban legends, I have never heard of Melon Heads, thank goodness.

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