The first story:
BETTER THUMP IT
2,100 Years: The age of a melon with the flesh still on the rind that was unearthed in western Japan, apparently preserved underground in a vacuum-packed state.
That fruit is believed to be the oldest melon found with the flesh still on the rind, said Shuji Yamazaki, a local official in the city of Moriyama.
The little story was accompanied by a small black-and-white picture of a slice of the antique, but unpetrified, melon on a white plate.
The second story is a follow-up on the recent shooting of “Hogzilla,” widely described as a giant feral pig, reportedly butchered for the family’s meat supply:
WOMAN: GIANT PIG WAS GIFT FROM HUBBY
FRUITHURST, Ala. — The huge hog that became known as “Monster Pig” after being killed by an 11-year-old boy had a name: Fred.
Far from being feral, the pig had been raised on an Alabama farm and was sold to the Lost Creek Plantation just four days before it was shot there in a 150-acre fenced area, the animal’s former owner said.
Phil Blissit told The Anniston Star in a story Friday that he bought the 6-week-old pig in Secember 2004 as a Christmas present for his wife, Rhonda, and that they sold it after decided to get ride of all the pigs at their farm.
The South Shall Rise Again???? I sure hope not. This crew makes the Clampetts seem classy. A bit of the backstory is in an earlier AP dispatch, which reported that “An 11-year-old boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9 feet 4, from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.
. . . “Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Monster Pig. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.
“Through it all, there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation for doing. ‘I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited,’ said Jamison, who lives in Pickensville on the Mississippi border. He just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school.”
Young Jamison Stone’s trophy porker would seem nothing to be proud of, even though he has been hunting for most of his young life and reportedly bagged his first deer when he was five — just a couple of years older than the legendary Davy Crockett who, according to legend and song, “kilt him a b’ar when he was only three.” There’s a picture of Jamison and the late Hogzilla on the Fox News website.
If you’re wondering, as I was, about the Lost Creek Plantation, it is a 2,500-acre commercial hunting operation offering the opportunity to shoot “deer, buck, doe, European hog, sow, feral meat hogs, dove shoots, doves, turkey, pheasant shoots.” Kind of like the spread in Texas where VP Dick Cheney went quail hunting and instead shot his buddy, lawyer Harry Whittington, 15 months ago.