A Wounded Boar by Marty Weaver

I had horrible insomnia as a kid. It certainly didn’t help that my house is old and makes weird noises at night.

I heard a noise one night that I still have no explanation for.

There I was, 11 years old, lying wide awake in my dark bedroom for the third straight hour. Suddenly, I heard something.

It wasn’t any of the creaks or groans I had become accustomed to in my years of sleeplessness. It was a heavy, pained sound. My brain conjured up the image of a wounded boar, seemingly out of thin air. The noise continued for a few minutes; then it suddenly stopped.

I turned on the light. Of course, there was nothing in the room. No boar, no sound, nothing.

I turned the light off. The noise started again.

“You’re just tired,” I told myself. “There’s nothing there. This is just the brain’s way of telling you that you need to sleep.”

The noise eventually died down, and I started to relax.

That is, until my cat woke up.

Sadie liked to sleep by my feet, and she normally spent the entire night curled up in one spot. It wasn’t like her to wander unless she was feeling uneasy.

To my horror, she bolted off my bed and investigated the area of the room that I heard the noise coming from. She sniffed around for a few minutes, didn’t find anything, and then made her way back to my bed.

Sadie then did something else that was unusual: She curled up by my waist instead of at my feet.

What happened that night?

For years, I wrote it off as my sleep-deprived brain simply doing what sleep-deprived brains are wont to do.

But what about Sadie? And why did my brain supply the image of a wounded boar?

Maybe my bedroom was briefly inhabited by the spirit of a wounded boar. That would explain both the noise and Sadie’s reaction, as well as why that’s all I could think of at that time. Or maybe I was just tired, and Sadie was just restless because I was panicking. She’s very perceptive, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for her to pick up on my mental state.

Perhaps it was a combination of the two. Maybe the boar came to me because my brain wasn’t functioning at 100% capacity.

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