This is a Korean pig pen much like the one in the story.      

Dr. Rodney T. Hard

Korean missionary families of Theodore Hard, Bruce Hunt, John Hunt, Al Sneller, and Harvey Conn were some of the families that had their kids taught at the school on the grounds of the seminary.

Rodney Hard (right side) practicing Judo in Korea at age 16.

                              THE PIG’S REVENGE

By:  Rodney T. Hard


The missionaries got together in Pusan and started a school for the kids.  Some of the parents were the teachers.  When I was in the third grade, we went to school on the hill above Song-do Beach in a small building on the outer edge of the grounds of the Christian seminary where my father taught.   

During recess one day, Sterling, Robert Wright (not in picture), and I went up the hill a ways and came upon a pig pen much like the one shown in the picture.  We tended to wander about the countryside wherever we pleased with no consequences from the teachers as long as we were back in class when the second bell rang at the end of recess or the end of lunch. 

Sterling and Robert began to mercilessly tease the pig in the pen.  Every time they prodded the poor pig with a stick and it would squeal, they would laugh gleefully.  The pen was too small for the pig to get away from both of them.  If the pig retreated to one side of the pen away from Sterling, then Robert would prod him from that side.  

Well, it came to a point where the pig had had enough. When Robert jabbed it one more time and roared in derisive laughter, the pig snorted and shot a large bugger out of its snout, over the fence, and right into Robert’s open mouth.  Robert gagged, coughed vigorously, and then vomited.  That is when I began to laugh so uncontrollably that I was rolling around on the ground.  I would swear to this day that the pig appeared to have a big self-satisfied grin on its face.

This incident taught me at an early age that the “gross-out defense” used by the pig could be adapted by me in the streets around my neighborhood.  We were different from the other kids because we were not oriental.  The Korean bullies would pick on us at times.  Shoe shine boys, hoodlums, beggars, and other ornery kids would call me “Kaw-jeng-ee” which meant big nose.  They called me round eye.  They called me Yankee.  The called me “Me-gook-nawm” which was a derogatory term for Americans.  Then they would physically push us around and try to intimidate us.


Now generally, the Koreans really liked Americans.  We had just saved their country from annihilation from the Communist Chinese and North Koreans.  Most Korean kids were friendly and treated us with extreme curiosity, following us everywhere and staring at us all the time yelling, “Hello, OK”.   They had learned those words from the soldiers.  If I was waiting at a bus stop, I drew a host of kids, and adults, that would stand in a circle around me and just stare.  So, most of the time, I never felt seriously threatened.  But, the bullies I encountered were just older kids that were just entertaining themselves at my expense because I was different.  It is the same story the world around.

This is when I learned that the gross-out defense came in handy since I was younger, smaller, and usually outnumbered.  There was a lot of excrement on the ground almost everywhere I went - cow pies, horse dung, and my favorite, dog poop.  After a day in the sun, the dog poop would have a nice dry crust on the outside but was still soft and really ripe smelling on the underside.  When I was accosted, I found that if I picked up the poop and threw it at them, I could completely scatter my attackers and make my getaway.  The word got around after awhile so that all I had to do was to reach for the ground and bullies would scatter.

On my eighth birthday, our Korean maid gave me a switchblade and I carried that with me all the time.  Fortunately, I never had to get past merely brandishing the knife to defend myself.  I don’t know what I would have done if someone called my bluff.  I don’t know if I would have actually cut somebody unless I was really in fear of severe bodily injury from an assailant.

At age eleven, I started leaning Judo.  Over the years of my life, I eventually got black belts in Judo, Dang Soo Do karate, Hapkido, JuJitsu, Chinese Kenpo, and Japanese Shotokan.  Learning the martial arts gave me the ability to defend myself.  The more I learned and the more confident I became, I no longer had to defend myself.  The confidence that I exuded kept others from messing with me in most situations.