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Revision as of 15:54, 21 December 2012 by AgProv (talk | contribs) (Pig myths at Christmas. Happy Hogswatch!)
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Gouger is one of the four boars that pull the Hogfather's sleigh. The other three are Rooter, Tusker and Snouter. It is very possible that, as the biggest, meanest, most manically red-eyed (as opposed to red-nosed) boar in the pack, Gouger merits the definitive entry for all four as the Discworld's answer to Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was most possibly Gouger who was first, as is the right of the alpha boar, to allow his bladder full release all over the floor in Crumley's. And anyone who has ever had to do with the living porcine will know that pig slurry stinks.


Several interesting myths and customs persist in the south of Sweden. In the old Scandinavian mythology, the god Frey (Frig) drove a chariot, in some readings capable of flight, that was drawn by a great boar. The boar is variably named Gullinburste (Goldenhair) and Slidrugtanne (Horrible Tusks).

A version of this myth, given a Christian veneer, survives today in the southern Swedish province of Blekinge. The folklore says that on the 21st December - St Thomas's day and the accepted day of the Winter Solstice - St Thomas himself descends from Heaven, on the back of a flying boar, to rid the world of trolls and dark elves that think they are safe on the longest night.

In the Skåne province of southern Sweden, folklore preserves the myth of the gloso (gluppso, galoppso, kyrkogrim), a huge, black, red-eyed, pig, generally a sow rather than a boar, which is capable of breathing fire and which is most deadly over the Christmas celebration weeks. As a courtesy detail, the spines on its back are razor sharp and it has a habit of sharpening its tusks on gravestones.

(Source: "Pigging out at Christmas", from Fortean Times FT296, dated Jan 2013.)