The Anatomy Lesson that Never Was

by David Murphy

I was hunting in a forest north of Frankfurt, Germany, with my father and others one weekend in 1950. During this hunt my father shot a boar. I decided that since this was not my first boar hunt and since I had almost reached the ripe old age of 16, that it was time for me to learn to “field-dress” a boar. Under the direction of the Jaegermeister, I made a first slit from pubic bone to breast bone and a second one vertical in the neck so I could sever the esophagus and the windpipe. This permitted me to remove the heart and lungs intact. “How great it would be,” I thought, “to display this in my sophomore biology class at the Frankfurt American High School.” After all, the organs of a pig are very much like those of a human.

The following Monday morning, I boarded my school bus in the village of Schwanheim with my prize in a bucket. Snow was falling lightly. As the bus made its way toward school, it stopped near the PX at the “WAC Circle” on the Escherheimer Landstrasse. At this point the driver explained that school had been cancelled because of the snow. We all got off and headed for the PX, each of us carrying our books. I, of course had the additional burden of about four kilos of pig organs. Wow, a whole day without school! There was nothing to do at home. I would spend the day in town with my friends. My prize was heavy and I didn’t want to carry it around all day. A plan emerged. Not far from WAC circle was a Polizei station, its door closed but with a single, back-lit, doorbell clearly visible. I and my friends put the bucket on the front step, rang the doorbell and ran like hell doing our best to avoid falling on the slippery new-fallen snow.

Over the next several days I read the newspapers to see if a murder was being investigated, but there was no such report. To this day I wonder how long it took the police to realize the organs were not human. I never rang a door bell again. I went on many more boar hunts, but never shot a boar. Perhaps God was punishing me for my prank.