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Truffle Hunting

Truffle Hunting image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

While tlio authorof "Wanderings by Southern Waters' was in the south oí I 'ranee he engaged an old man to show him how truffles were gathered. At the appointed hour the man appeared with a pig walking by his sido - an i:gly-looking beast, with an arched back and a long, turned up nose. It was fonr yeara old, and in the langnage of the place, was quite "serious." As a mark of distinction it wore a leather collar. The three hunters - the two men and the pig - climbed the roeky side of a steep gorge, and carne out upon a plateau. Here, onder the oak trees, t.hey were to flnd the truffles, which grow only near oaks or hazels. At a sign from the old man, the pig began sniffing about the roots of a little tree, and then proceeded to dig with her nose, tossing up the larger stones as if they were feathers. She had smelt a truffle, and the man seized her by the ear, for her manner was suspicious. This was the first time they had been out together since the last season, and the pig had forgotten part of her education. She manages to get a truffle into her mouth. He tugs at her ear with one hand. and uses his stick upon her nose with the other. The pig sercams with anget, but will not open her jaw.s wide enough to let him slip the stick inside and hook out the truffle. The prize is s-.vallowed, and the old man. forgetful of all decorum, calis his assistant a pig, which in l'rance is alwa.vs an insult. The game has oponed badly, although one of the parties eoncerned is of a different opinión. In a few minutes, however, a second truffle is found, and this time the old man delivers a whack on the pig'snose at the right moment, and seizing the mushroom, hands it to me. Then he takes from his pocket an ear of corn. and picking off a few grains, gives them to the pig by way of soothing her injured feelings and encouraging her to go on with the hunt. We move about in the dry, open wood, keeping always near the trees, and truffle after truffle is turned up frotn the reddish light soil. Her forgotten training soon comes back to the pig. At a mere twitch of the ear she retires at the right moment, and waits for the corn which is invariably given lier in exchange for the truffle. Before we leave the ground, indeed, she has got so well into the work that on finding a truffle she does not attempt to seize it, but points to it, and grunts for its equivalent in maize.


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier