Reminiscence is so full of flavour and detail whereas prophecy is already tainted with disappointment. “If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise” clearly vindicates the quotation “It’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive”. From the look of the sign (above) ,which I saw at the end of our lane this morning, it would be the picnicking teddy bears who would be having the big surprise if they were down in the woods today. I was fascinated by the sign with the Edward Muybridge style illustration of a wild boar in motion. There was a suggestion of fun about its day- glow colours and the exhortation that seemed to include a universal “us”. I did have the feeling that the huntsman watching me taking the picture of his sign was mentally excluding me from the universal “us” and thinking of excluding me from the universe altogether. Several years ago, Jenny and I witnessed a family of three adult wild boar, with their young, charging across the open ground of a field adjacent to our house. It was clear that they had broken cover from some woods and were galloping across the 800 metres of open field to gain the sanctuary of the forest towards which they were heading at speed. The adults had herded the young marcassins between them so that none would be left behind as stragglers to be taken by the hounds or the hunters. It was an impressive and heartening sight. I had to convince Jenny, a lover of all creatures with more than two legs, that it would be unwise to drive up the lane, dismount from the car and wave and shout to the charging boars in order to show them a gap in the hedge through which they could pass for a clear run at the shelter of the forest. I needed to explain to her they might not be able to instantly identify us as friends as opposed to the other, very similar, two legged beasts that were busy, at this very moment, trying to kill their nearest and dearest. Only a few days before there had been an episode in a clothing store, near Poitiers, that had involved a wild boar who found difficulty in trusting his two legged friends. The boar in question had been struck by a car whilst quietly crossing the road. A passing motorist stopped to help the pig, but this led quickly to a misunderstanding during which the pig inflicted not insignificant damage on the would be helper’s car. Realising its mistake the wild pig turned towards the two legger, intending to apologise for damage done in the heat of the moment, only to see him fleeing into a nearby clothing store. Feeling it was best to sort the matter out straight away the boar gave chase and in no time was in the store and intensely searching every department for the two legger that he had wronged. Our piggy hero was now draped in an unnervingly clever selection of blouses, frocks and knickers and felt that the other two leggers, who were also madly running around squealing, were equally intent on helping him to find his chum. Only the blissful dream filled sleep of half a dozen tranquilliser darts prevented him from offering a full apology. Any way, by the time I’d explained this to Jenny the pigs had gone, and so had Jenny.