Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 421, June 10, 2007

"Truth gets slaughtered, over and over again, every day."


.44 Mag and .500 S&W
Left: .44 Magnum    Right: .500 S&W

Lady Cindy and the Giant Pig
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

ONCE UPON A TIME, in the most Enchanted Kingdom in the history of the Whole Wide World, there dwelt a woman, a young warrior, and a giant wild pig.

At the time, there was also a Very Stupid War being waged in a faraway land, at the insistence of the Enchanted Kingdom's Evil King. Because of that, and for a number of other reasons, more and more of the Evil King's subjects (many of whom had seen their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, and friends injured or killed in that faraway land) didn't like the Evil King.

One of those subjects was Lady Cindy, whose young son Casey had died in the Evil King's Very Stupid War. She belonged to a group that had always advertised itself as the Party of ostensible Tranquility (PooT), although over the past century, before the rise of the Evil King, PooT had started every one of the Enchanted Kingdom's many Very Stupid Wars. It is not clear whether Lady Cindy realized that or not—PooT was extremely good at making up reasonable-sounding excuses ("It all started when he hit me back!")—but it may have been the source of many problems that beset her on the long, long road to real peace.

For a long while—for as long as she criticized the Evil King and his Very Stupid War—Lady Cindy's fellow PooTs praised her to the skies, giving her money and food and cheering her loudly at every gathering.

It quickly became clear that Lady Cindy was annoying the Evil King to no end. But his friends always advertised themselves as the Party of ostensible Freedom (PooF)—although most of his reign had been dedicated to violating and destroying every remaining trace of freedom in the Enchanted Kingdom—so he couldn't admit that Lady Cindy was getting his Royal Goat. She even bought a humble cottage next door to his castle where she an her fellow PooTs blew raspberries at him every day.

To be sure, there were many other subjects in the Enchanted Kingdom who disliked the Evil King and hated his Very Stupid War. Between them and Lady Cindy, they managed to persuade most of their fellow subjects that the Evil King was stupid and that his Very Stupid War was evil. Together, they got rid of many PooFs who were ruling the Enchanted Kingdom for the Evil King, replacing them with members of PooT.

And here is where the Lady Cindy learned a tragic lesson ...

But hold! I feel a sudden need for digression!


In another part of the Enchanted Kingdom, a young warrior hunting deep in the Dark Woods, had encountered a near-Mythical Beast—a giant wild pig many times his own size and weight. It was as long as a carriage, almost (but not quite) taller lying on its belly than the young warrior was standing up, and had Hideous Tusks which had been known, on wild pigs much less gigantic, to cut and tear a hunter's hamstrings and leave him lying helplessly to be disemboweled and devoured.

Watched over by his noble father, who had taught him to hunt, the young warrior smote the giant wild pig with his Mighty Five Hundred Revolver. And smote him again. And again. Because it takes a lot of bullets—even Mighty Five Hundreds—to smite a giant wild pig unto death. When the first few Mighty Five Hundreds failed to dispatch the giant wild pig, the boy pursued it deeper into the Dark Woods—for three long, grueling hours, where he finally found it and finished it off.

Soon the young warrior's prodigious deed was proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the Enchanted Kindgom, and very heartily celebrated, especially by those of his friends and family fortunate enough to partake if its delicious flesh, which had been made into sausage.

Yet almost as soon as the young warrior's exploit became known far and wide, there arose the usual gaggle of whiners, complainers, and detractors—a majority of them being PooTs for some reason—who all lifted their unlovely heads from the slime through which they're used to crawling on their vile bellies like the lowly specimens they are.

Some of them said things (their childish grammar and infantile spelling has been corrected) like, "Any parent who would let his 11-year old child loose with a .50 calibre handgun ought to be in prison."

Observe that no hunter has suggested that parents who refuse to acquaint their children with weapons of self-defense—and with a human heritage of hunting that stretches back at least a million years, to before we truly were human—should be jailed for child abuse.

"Such people [hunters, presumably] monopolize our woodlands, so that birders, botanists, and hikers can't walk in safety in the wilderness."

Setting aside the fact that accidental shootings during hunting season are rarer occurrences than being struck by lightning, and that the fears of "birders, botanists, and hikers" are imaginary—unless they include being attacked by a giant wild pig nobody was allowed to shoot—the real problem here is with the idea and phrase "our woodlands".

What they actually mean are the Evil King's Royal Woods. All the woods should be completely private, so that hunters can do with their woods as they wish, while the PooTs, in their baseless fear, can erect a 100-foot bulletproof wall around their woods, so that the sun never shines and the only growing things are mushrooms, which can be fed on the megatons of equine excretion that the PooTs spew from their mouths daily.

Another calls the young warrior "an all-American redneck", making me wonder why—if employing similar mindless, meaningless epithets against individuals who happen to be black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, or disabled—we shouldn't dismiss this writer as just another backward, bigoted ignoramus whose "ideas" aren't worth reading or thinking about.

"So why did he chase and kill the pig?" someone thinks he's asking rhetorically. "Because he could?" Yes, of course. And because, after something on the order of 800,000 years of evolution, if human beings have any inherent rights at all, foremost among them must the right to hunt.

Somebody else whimpers, "Disgusting. This kid is proud that he killed something? The animal probably woke up that morning and set out to do as he always had done, exist. Then along comes a human to take that away and for what? This kid needs a lesson on what life really is."

It's abundantly clear to me that "this kid" is one hell of a lot further along the road to understanding "what life really is" (it's actually a lifelong study, and the only degree we get at graduation is "R.I.P.") than the uneducated correspondent shaking a virtual finger at him.

Yes, you can be proud that you killed something, if it will feed your family or keep them from being eaten. Up until the 19th century, when people started getting their food killed for them by somebody else, nobody would have questioned these facts. Now, when everything comes in cans, boxes, or wrapped in plastic, grocery-store carnivores like this one think it's okay to be cut off from the forty thousand generations that preceded them, and force everybody else to be, as well.

Also, "woke up that morning and set out to do as he always had done" is a bald-faced assertion nobody should be able to get away with without getting metaphorically bitch-slapped for it. The quote implies the phenomenon of purpose, which is a purely human thing, also more memory than animals possess (even pigs, which are very bright), and a knowledge of one's place in the world which seems even to elude most humans.

And last but certainly least, 'A good accomplishment'? What, moving his finger eight times to shoot eight bullets into the scared animal?"

So many half-wits, so little time, I'd suggest that this letter-writer try "moving his finger eight times" with his hand wrapped around a .22 pistol before he makes judgements about doing it with a .500 S&W. I'm an avid shooter of some of the bigger, more powerful handguns in the world (I consider .44 Magnum adequate), but at the moment, this seems like a hell of a lot of gun. I take my hat off to any youngster who uses it to as good an effect as this young warrior has.

Some people make a point of the fact that the boy had a gun, while the (1000 lb.) hog was "unarmed". By the same token, we might complain that the boy was "untusked" and whine about whether that was fair, although in reality, there is no "fair". The giant wild pig was prey and the young warrior is a predator. (Here I will prescribe a remedial reading of Jose Ortega y Gassett's Meditations on Hunting.) A female lion attacking a baby eland doesn't ask how fair it is that she has weaponry and skills that the eland lacks, to aid her in her predation, she simply strikes and kills—and her own babies get to eat that night.

The young warrior, every bit as much a part of nature as the lioness, with just as much right to hunt down his prey, possesses an "unfair" weapon, too: a outsized, powerful brain that devises tools, like the Mighty Five Hundred revolver, to aid him in his predation. The giant wild pig that fell to it would be eaten, too, as the young boy's friends and relatives—as well as admirers of his feat all over the Enchanted Kingdom—properly praised him for his hunter's prowess.

End of digression.


As bad as the treatment afforded the young warrior by the PooTs, the mediocre second-raters that infest any movement reserve an especially vitriolic, bitter hatred for any individual who remains more consistent with that movement's basic principles than they do, themselves.

To her dismay, Lady Cindy discovered that replacing so many of the PooFs with PooTs accomplished nothing. Secretly—or not so secretly in many cases—the PooTs had decided that, once they were in power, they would continue the Evil King's Very Stupid War because they served exactly the same masters, and it was in their interests to do so.

When she criticized the PooTs, as she had the PooFs, and for the same reasons, her former supporters turned and tore her like ... well, like a giant wild pig tears its victims with its tusks. Being against the Evil King and his Very Stupid War was fine, they told her, but attacking Lady Hillary or Lord Barack or Lady Nancy, well, that was something else altogether. And once one of them becomes King or Queen, it would be best if you were to shut up altogether, you attention-whore.

Yes, that's what her fellow PooTs called her, for losing a son to the Evil King's Very Stupid War, for speaking against it when everyone else was afraid to, for insisting that everybody must play by the same rules.


Exactly as the same kind of creatures sneered at a young warrior following the ancient customs and traditions of his species, called him an "all-American redneck", and threatened to put his parents in jail. And make no mistake about it, they are exactly the same kind of creatures.

Is there a moral to this story? Yes, possibly several. One might be that a Wise Man once proclaimed that "Truth is the first casualty of war". And that was true, as far as it goes. But a husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, cousin, or friend only has to die once. Truth gets slaughtered, over and over again, every day.

Another might be that democracy is not what made the Enchanted Kingdom enchanted. In fact, by this point in the Enchanted Kingdom's history, democracy has come close to finishing the Enchanted Kingdom off. Democracy permits only the most stupid, the most crazy, and the most deeply evil to occupy High Office, because only they can think thoughts demented enough, tell lies colossal enough, and undertake deeds base, vile, and bloody enough that their subjects will vote for them.

But the most important moral is that Lady Cindy should quit PooT, which is just a part of the two-headed Dragon of Boot-On-Your-Neck, go on tilting at both PooF and PooT, and strongly consider joining the Enchanted Kingdom's libertarians, in their Party of ostensible Principle.

Or would that just be PooP?

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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