Of Dogs and Boars


It’s not only in the United States that human expansion has led to habitation of areas that were for a long time inhospitable.  Amidst this arid landscape in Morocco, not only are people present, but modern amenities (as well as timeless artistic traditions like weavings and dance performances) are available to tourists and locals alike.  Springing from the prosperity of the manicured touristed area, on the periphery of town are buildings like those shown here: block-like but air-conditioned - an eyesore in the expansiveness of the surroundings but a boon to their inhabitants.  As if bridging the divide between the constructed and the natural, in the second photograph a dog sits chained, gazing towards the nearby hills.

At dawn, while walking not more than 5 minutes from the area shown, a chorus of barking dogs caught my attention.  Looking to see what had caused the disturbance, I saw a dark, grizzled boar trotting briskly along with at least a half-dozen canines yapping and lunging at its heels.  At first I was surprised to see a wild animal so close to town, but undoubtedly boar lived in the region since well before the freshly painted buildings were built.  Loath to see the animal harassed, I tried shouting at the dogs and throwing some stones, but the group was too fast for me and disappeared over a hill.  By the time I reached the summit, dogs and boar alike were well off into the distance, the entire situation beyond my control.