Thunder Ben David of Chilmark died Thursday, July 25, after seven glorious years as the biggest attraction at Native Earth Teaching Farm owned by Rebecca Gilbert and Randy Ben David. “He was our rock star boar,” said Ms. Gilbert.

With the snowfall on the night of Jan. 21, I was a bit slow getting out to feed Thunder the next morning. I had defrosted the hummingbird feeder first and fed and watered the ducks when I looked up to see a huge black boar heading toward the beach right into the force of the frigid wind. Thunder was out of his pen again! Grabbing a pot that held the remains of my chicken soup from the night before, I ran out calling his name. The wind off the water, even though warmer than inland air, had stopped him in his tracks.
I would like to give thanks to all the people who helped retrieve Thunder, the famous 400-pound Berkshire boar, on loan to me from Native Earth Teaching Farm. At the time I was away in Portland, Ore., and a family member was caring for my little farm that lies within Seven Gates Farm. The electricity in his fence went down late on Christmas Day and Thunder chose to visit neighborhood friends who often bring him scraps to eat. Many Vineyard phone circuits lit up, including mine from Oregon.