Monday, January 19, 2009


Le Sanglier. The wild boar of France, sus scrofa scrofa. Shy, not often seen, but much maligned, le sanglier is the most hunted mammal in France. It is considered to be very dangerous but this is "largely unfounded" according to Most dangerous is the female who "will understandably protect her young if she feels threatened." This is where my story begins...

In 1997, my sister Rhonda and I visited Provence. We were taking a few last minute pictures of the countryside on our last day. We had just visited the hilltop village of Brantes and were meandering our way to the Marseilles airport. Nearing Beaumes de Venise, we pulled in to a picnic area to snap a few pictures of the "Dentelles de Montmirail", a rock formation resembling dog teeth or lace, no one is sure (dentelle could mean either in French).

Rhonda and I were standing beside our car when suddenly I caught a glimpse of a strange looking deer, or dog, or "Oh my God!" it's a wild boar!!! There she stood, snorting and grunting at us, her teats hanging nearly to the ground ---very menacing indeed. We jumped into the car, she ran back into the bushes and that was that.

The following year, my husband and I traveled back to France. In Beaune, the wine "capital" of Burgundy, we found this wine bottle stopper in a kitchen shop. My husband fashioned an Oregon wine cork to "Madame", our very own Sanglier.

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