Grandpa John Tharp’s Last Story


White County Historical Society 2002 White County Heritage

This article originally appeared in the Little Red River Journal at Pangburn, September 19, 1984

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everal months ago my good friend and neighbor sent word to me that he had a true story he wanted to tell me … Unfortunately, he had moved to Osceola and I did not get to see or talk to him again. But he was determined and just a few short hours before his death he told it for the last time and a family member wrote it as he dictated.  His name was John Tharp and his wife said he had told it over and over many times and that the kids really enjoyed hearing it… He was such a good storyteller.

To Catch A Wild Hog As Told By Grandpa John Tharp

“I had been hunting this ole hog for two years and couldn’t catch her.  One day along in December we must have been getting low on meat.  I set out to look for some meat.  I started out riding this horse.  All at once, this ole wild hog jumped out in front of me and I knew wild hogs wouldn’t run, but my horse started running.  I couldn’t do a thing with her. I went back to the house, got Jim, my brother, and two mules.

            “The hog ran off.  It was about a mile and a half – that hog just ‘a pickin’ them up and settin’ them down.’ She ran just north of the old Henson place.  We had two dogs – one was a black dog and one was a big old cur dog.  He could get a hog and hold him by the whiskers.  He could really hold him, too.

            “Jim said to me, ‘You watch the dog and help hold him.’  I said, ‘Okay.’  I just stood back with my horse.  That hog made a lunge at Jim’s mule and hit him in the belly.  That ole mule must have weighed 700 pounds.  When that hog hit him, this ole mule went up in the air, and up in the air went Jim.  After awhile the mule came down and so did ole Jim – on his all fours, trying to get away from that ‘wild hog.’

            “I jumped off my mule, trying to get away from the hog.  Finally, the dogs caught the hog.  We got that hog and tied three of his legs to a limb.  The dogs guarded that hog the rest of the night, and the next morning we went back and got our hog.  And we had ‘meat in the pot.’” 8