The Erymanthian Boar—a poem

Japanese wooden prayer plaque showing a black boar

Japanese ema from an unknown shrine for the Year of the Boar. Not Erymanthian but still formidable

Hercules’ Labour Number Four
was to capture the Erymanthian boar
that disgusting destroyer
that greedy pig who
every day came back for more.

And on the way to kill the boar
Hercules stopped to jaw
with his old pal Pholus the centaur
who kindly cooked some lunch for him
but ate his own meat raw.

Hercules cracked open a sacred jar
of wine (he was such a boor)
and the smell attracted a pack of centaurs
to the door and they started a war
and Chiron got hurt very sore.

But wait there’s more
Hercules drove the revolting boar
into a heap of chilly snow
to cool it down and bring it low
maybe he threw it into the sea
but I wasn’t there so I don’t know.

I think this myth is supposed to show
that we should curb our appetites
buy our own wine
and eat more protein (cooked).

Rachel McAlpine 2019

Yes yes, I know—it’s a ridiculous poem and not even close to matching Food For Aging—Parsley, Peas and Pills. That’s the topic of an episode in my podcast How To Be Old. In the podcast I mixed up Pholus and Chiron. Sorry about that.

5 thoughts on “The Erymanthian Boar—a poem

  1. Cathy Cade says:

    It rolls along merrily – and the only thing I can think of that rhymes with ‘Parsley peas and pills’ is ‘ills’… Don’t go there!

    1. Not yet. Give me 20 years…

  2. Bills, chills, and wills. No, We definitely don’t want to go there!

  3. pamela978 says:

    I agree with you, trying to force my diet in any direction always makes me rebel. I made small changes after a bout of gout in 2017 and this year my Doc says all my blood numbers are better. Smaller amounts, early last meal of the day, too.

    1. Way to go! Tiny habits are the best.

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