Don the road near Salecchia the rales of the wild boar were heard loud, and also the blows, inflicted with the barrel of the gun to the dying animal by the two men who kicked the little ones away, noisy and annoying. Mr. Marco quickly disemboweled the still breathing animal, and extracted its throbbing intestine, leaving it on a bed of leaves and dirt.
The too long summer day and the off-trail hikers required hurry and attention.
Biletra barked, while Marco and Salvatore with difficulty loaded the hunting booty on the old Polo Giardinetta they used on these occasions: a broken-down vehicle that traveled without insurance and without road tax through the inaccessible roads of the Dauni Mountains. They were already in agreement with Vittorio: as usual they would bring the boar to him.
But soon, for. In the garage just outside Deliceto he already had two more, brought the night before by people from Orsara, and he couldn’t wait too long. During the short trip, Biletra was very excited, that smell of sour blood did not make him feel comfortable, and he fidgeted, licked, sniffed. They narrowly avoided a porcupine, cursing. The rifles still loaded and the hands very dirty. There were too many wild boars in the area, and the Covid confinements had made them even safer, more enterprising. What then, wild boars … Everyone knew that they were pigs born from crosses with Romanian wild boars introduced by hunters years ago. A time bomb for the local fauna balance, here and throughout Italy. And now, the hunters themselves proposed themselves as the solvers of the problem they had caused and demanded from the state exceptions to hunting limits, authorizations for the use of sniper rifles and even the right to go to schools to talk about the environment.
Marco and Salvatore have always been friends. As with Vittorio. Now they enjoyed their retirement by going out hunting as often as they liked, but when they were young they only went out on Sundays. And they had beautiful equipment, even envied by the hunter-tourists who came in the winter. Salvatore was a live call professional, while Marco was obsessed with dogs. They were together also that time when Marco’s father’s old rifle accidentally fired off three fingers from his thirteen-year-old grandson. A misfortune, but as well as it had gone !, Marco kept repeating to his thirty-year-old son that his grandfather’s levity, on the other hand, could not forgive her.
Biletra got out first. He knew the place well, and Vittorio made him find the usual welcome bone. He skipped through the garage that smelled of rotten meat, trotted across the cobblestones in the rising moonlight, left some spray on the fence. The three friends had a cold beer: the boar was very heavy, and they are no longer boys. Biletra’s voice was inopportune, it attracted attention. And Vittorio, moreover, could not understand Marco’s passion for a dog that was not hunting: he had had beautiful Bretons, quick setters at the first whistle and he had left them or finished them without a hint of hesitation when they were no longer good. , but this slow-paced, harmless-natured white shepherd, like the many that could be seen behind the sheep of the Apennines, or strays in the mountains, was the light of his eyes, ever since he had found him as a puppy on the bed of the stream whose name she had given him.
Late at night Marco and Salvatore got back in the car for Bovino. Biletra had set out on his own, as he always did: he wanted to walk, he knew the way.
Vittorio had prepared the van with the three beasts. He was not afraid of the controls, no one had ever stopped him. And he also didn’t see the problem. The off-season hunting, the sale of animals not controlled by the health authorities, the illegal transport, seemed to him bullshit. He only asked hunters to immediately remove the intestines from the animals, to avoid contamination with certain parasites that he knew, very common in wild boars and very dangerous. He had his ethics, and he wanted the reliable product, so as not to lose the buyers, especially now that the paranoia of zoonoses were turning and everyone had become fearful. Too bad that those intestines thrown without too many compliments in the woods did their damage in the food chain of small predators. But this certainly didn’t matter to Vittorio. He came out of the garage that there was no one around. He got out of the cockpit with the lights out to close everything behind him and pulled hard on the hard shutter, which slipped at a run. Just a little, short cry. And the shutter that didn’t touch the ground. Vittorio turned on the light to understand. Low Biletra, with a broken spine, looked at him for help, tongue out, one paw raised. Vittorio wasted no time, there was no time. He couldn’t shoot him now, in the village, he grabbed a snow shovel that was still leaning against the wall and dealt him a single blow on the head. Biletra died instantly. Then he loaded it into the van, waiting to get rid of it at the first opportunity, certainly not here, where his wife would see it too if she went down to the garage the next morning to get a bottle of canned food. Olmina was very good friends with Maria, Marco’s wife, and didn’t want to mess with her. A really annoying accident, indeed a pain in the ass.
Holy shit, by now Marco will have noticed that at the usual command, almost halfway between the two villages, in the middle of the crevasses, Bililetra was not responding. He was surely looking for him, unleashing insults to heaven, with the help of Salvatore and a few other friends. Meanwhile Vittorio had passed Caianello and was heading north. He was tired and annoyed. Hating annoyances was his main characteristic. And despite the late night, the highway was busy.
The practice of this trade had now become solid: in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio the demand for wild boar meat was always very high, even in summer. All thanks to this blessed tradition with which a lot of people were making a fortune, selling anything as healthy, genuine, local. Yet in those parts there were many wild boars, but you can see that they weren’t enough for all the Sunday tourists, eager to go for a day at least from frozen fish sticks to true nature.
In short, you made easy money with this system. Plus there was the fun of hunting and also scrubbing the controls, which is always a nice thing.
At the stop at the Autogrill Vittorio meets two patrols. The sun was rising, but that stench of mud and shit he had been carrying for hours required a coffee now, caramba or no caramba. Parked, he pulled the brakes and came down, breathing deeply in front of the already plowed countryside.
He arrived early in the morning at that farmhouse whose name he could never memorize, in the middle of an oak grove that reminded him of his home. They awaited him with the usual cordiality, a snack of eggs and excellent cheese, pats, exchanges of greetings. And the money. The workers opened the van and the owner checked. At the sight of the dog he asked what had happened. Vittorio had forgotten that Biletra was still there with the three boars, and gladly accepted the offer to leave him. His local friends would provide for him. He dodged the chickens and geese and set off on his way back.
The workers were waiting for orders.
– Boss, shall we bring the animals to work them in the kitchen?
– All three?
– All four.
At noon Vittorio was already home. Fuck, if he had run. Grad just a tomato salad and a glass of wine, he liked to stay light.
August 7, 2021 | 13:07