Bulka And The Wild Boar
: STORIES FOR CHILDREN
: Fables For Children, Stories For Children, Natural Science Stori
Once we went into the Caucasus to hunt the wild boar, and Bulka went
with me. The moment the hounds started, Bulka rushed after them,
following their sound, and disappeared in the forest. That was in the
month of November; the boars and sows are then very fat.
In the Caucasus there are many edible fruits in the forests where the
boars live: wild grapes, cones, apples, pears, blackberries, acorns,
s. And when all these fruits get ripe and are touched by the
frost, the boars eat them and grow fat.
At that time a boar gets so fat that he cannot run from the dogs. When
they chase him for about two hours, he makes for the thicket and there
stops. Then the hunters run up to the place where he stands, and shoot
him. They can tell by the bark of the hounds whether the boar has
stopped, or is running. If he is running, the hounds yelp, as though
they were beaten; but when he stops, they bark as though at a man, with
a howling sound.
During that chase I ran for a long time through the forest, but not once
did I cross a boar track. Finally I heard the long-drawn bark and howl
of the hounds, and ran up to that place. I was already near the boar. I
could hear the crashing in the thicket. The boar was turning around on
the dogs, but I could not tell by the bark that they were not catching
him, but only circling around him. Suddenly I heard something rustle
behind me, and I saw that it was Bulka. He had evidently strayed from
the hounds in the forest and had lost his way, and now was hearing their
barking and making for them, like me, as fast as he could. He ran
across a clearing through the high grass, and all I could see of him was
his black head and his tongue clinched between his white teeth. I called
him back, but he did not look around, and ran past me and disappeared in
the thicket. I ran after him, but the farther I went, the more and more
dense did the forest grow. The branches kept knocking off my cap and
struck me in the face, and the thorns caught in my garments. I was near
to the barking, but could not see anything.
Suddenly I heard the dogs bark louder, and something crashed loudly, and
the boar began to puff and snort. I immediately made up my mind that
Bulka had got up to him and was busy with him. I ran with all my might
through the thicket to that place. In the densest part of the thicket I
saw a dappled hound. She was barking and howling in one spot, and within
three steps from her something black could be seen moving around.
When I came nearer, I could make out the boar, and I heard Bulka whining
shrilly. The boar grunted and made for the hound; the hound took her
tail between her legs and leaped away. I could see the boar's side and
head. I aimed at his side and fired. I saw that I had hit him. The boar
grunted and crashed through the thicket away from me. The dogs whimpered
and barked in his track; I tried to follow them through the undergrowth.
Suddenly I saw and heard something almost under my feet. It was Bulka.
He was lying on his side and whining. Under him there was a puddle of
blood. I thought the dog was lost; but I had no time to look after him,
I continued to make my way through the thicket. Soon I saw the boar. The
dogs were trying to catch him from behind, and he kept turning, now to
one side, and now to another. When the boar saw me, he moved toward me.
I fired a second time, almost resting the barrel against him, so that
his bristles caught fire, and the boar groaned and tottered, and with
his whole cadaver dropped heavily on the ground.
When I came up, the boar was dead, and only here and there did his body
jerk and twitch. Some of the dogs, with bristling hair, were tearing his
belly and legs, while the others were lapping the blood from his wound.
Then I thought of Bulka, and went back to find him. He was crawling
toward me and groaning. I went up to him and looked at his wound. His
belly was ripped open, and a whole piece of his guts was sticking out of
his body and dragging on the dry leaves. When my companions came up to
me, we put the guts back and sewed up his belly. While we were sewing
him up and sticking the needle through his skin, he kept licking my
The boar was tied up to the horse's tail, to pull him out of the forest,
and Bulka was put on the horse, and thus taken home. Bulka was sick for
about six weeks, and got well again.