The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mayberry Memories - Wild Hog In The Woods

By Coy Lee Yeatts © 1985

Issue: April, 1985

Editor’s Note: Mayberry, Virginia is located 2.8 miles south of Meadows of Dan, Virginia and 4.3 miles south of Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not much is left of the once thriving community but the memories will live forever.

Way back when I was a very small chap, scared to death of lots of unknown things, and a great while before that, there were wild hogs in the woods in these parts, though you wouldn't think so now.

Grandpa said he met a few when he was a boy and lived up Mayberry Creek in Kettle Hollow. Once he went up on Hurricane Hill, about where Gene Barnard's cow pasture is now, to get their cow and one ran him up a tree. His dog went home and his mother came and rescued him.

Sometime later, when he lived on Round Meadow Creek, he was passing through the Pig Pen Ridge area one Autumn day and saw a wild hog sow and her litter of pigs rooting along in the leaves for nuts. (There were lots of Chestnut trees back then, giants of their kind they were.) The thought came to his mind that there was a sloping tree near by, and if he stood still as could be they would pass right by him and he could grab one and scoot up the bent tree and stay there until the sow left. That is just what he did, and it worked. He said the next day he sold the pig for $.50.

About 100 years ago, Great-Grandpa Elam Reynolds was cleaning up the field just above the house where several of us Yeatts lived. Uncle I.D., Lenn R., Uncle J.E. Wood, Volney and Jim Reynolds, all very small, went to take Great-Grandpa his lunch and they missed the path and became lost. Grandpa found them after awhile in what we called, years later, the new ground. They were all run up a fallen tree lap and Uncle I.D. was fast asleep.

Many years later down under a place called Point Lookout (Old folks said that was where the Indians went to send smoke signals to other Indian folks over in the Rich Bent [Busted Rock]. It saved some mighty rough climbing that way, because one had to climb Indian Ladder or the Devil's Stair Steps to get over there or go around the several miles.), Uncle I.D. trapped the last wild hog that I know about in these parts. He raised one gang of pigs from his wild hog sow and I can still remember seeing them and being afraid that if I didn't watch out, the sow might get me.