(NEWARK) - A rural eastern Greene County man loves to raise persimmons, a popular Indiana autumn berry, that makes delightful pudding.
Nick Schneider, of the Greene County Daily World reports, Sam Lane usually gives away many of the tasty persimmons that fall from his eight trees to friends and family for their culinary use.
However, this year the 84-year-old Newark resident has had to deal with a neighbor's wandering pesky 200-pound plus hog, who appears to have a ravenous taste for persimmons.
In recent weeks, the mischievous porker has made a habit of escaping the fenced-in property of Lane's neighbor, Amanda Durham, almost daily and venturing next door to gobble up a belly full of fresh-fallen persimmons, according to Lane.
Lane lives near Newark, close to the Wilderness Church.
He moved to the Newark area about 21 year ago after retiring from former Harman-Becker Automotive Systems plan in Martinsville.
All was peaceful and calm until about seven or eight months ago when the hog grew larger along with its appetite for persimmons and strawberries.
"It's running around and gathering them all up now," he charged.
The hog comes in Lane's front and back yards pretty much when its appetite directs it.
"Now, it (the hog) comes over any time it gets hungry, I guess."
Lane has two feisty mixed-breed small dogs who have come to the rescue and have been able to herd the much-bigger hog back home, but not before plenty of damage has been done.
Lane has sought help from law enforcement and Greene County Sheriff Deputy Leon Dunigan has been called to his residence twice this week on Monday and Wednesday.
The deputy advised Lane both times that he would speak to the neighbor about better securing the hungry swine.
"I've talked to the neighbors about it. I've talked to the sheriff (deputy) about it and the sheriff talked to them (the neighbors) about it," Lane said. "A couple of times we've had words about it."
This hog, in Lane's opinion, has turned his small persimmon grove into a lip-smacking, help-yourself, all-you-can-eat buffet.
Lane is mad and frustrated.
Earlier in the spring, he alleges the same hog ravaged his strawberry patch, eating the berries and rooting up the plants.
"I had strawberries until the hog ate them. I have one plant left," he stated.
Lane is a spry, straight-talking guy who's been married five times.
"I live by myself," Lane declared and said he'd been married "too many times."
Three of his wives are deceased and two are divorced from him, he explained with a laugh.
"I don't get involved with too much stuff. Heck, I'm 84-years-old and this is frustrating," he said. "They (the neighbor) said we'll put him up. When he (the hog) was smaller, about the size of a pot-bellied pig, it wasn't no problem. But now, he's big enough that he can do a lot of destruction. I love my dogs and if it wasn't for my dogs I'd be running my butt off running that hog out of my yard. ...They'll chase it home after scuffling with it (the hog) for a while. It (the hog) doesn't seem to like my dogs because they chase it away from here. There is a fence and when he goes under it, my dogs usually turn around and come home."
Lane said it has turned into a never-ending chase game for his dogs.
"It's a nuisance to have to put up with and I am sure my little dogs are getting tired of running it (the hog) back home," Lane said. "I don't want to cause trouble, but I think a dang hog is supposed to be fastened where it can't tear other people's stuff up. All the neighbors say, 'just shoot him'. Well, I don't want to shoot him because it would just make trouble ... that hog runs where it dang well pleases. It's not only frustrating but being it is so big it damages a lot of stuff. ... If they'd just fasten the hog up, I have no problem with them."
In Lane's view a man's property ought to be his own, not intruded on and damaged.
"My place is not well-kept by any means, but what I've got I'd like to keep."
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