Minimalist Fables: The Three Little Pigs

This article is part of a series of fables I wrote to teach the values of minimalism and productivity to children.  You can read the first fable here.

One day the three not-so-little pigs, Weenie, Beanie, and Charles, left their home on the factory farm.  They were headed to the forest, where they hoped to make their way in life.  Each of the three bacon balls was looking for a quiet place to settle down and build a house, an important goal, but largely irrelevant in light of their upcoming gruesome deaths.

Make no mistake, these pudgy porkers were walking talking balloons of flesh.  Each had the gastric girth of a small car, and sauntered precariously on their stubby little hocks like a baby learning to walk.  A very fat baby.  The only undersized features of the three Gouda guzzlers were their brains, which, as will soon be clear, were very tiny indeed.

The Forest

After several hours of waddling the three little pork muffins started going their separate ways.  Weenie was the first to leave the group.  He heard a trickle in the underbrush and followed the sound to find a gently babbling brook.  Here, thought Weenie, is where I will build a house and start my new life.    

Weenie worked as hard as he ever had in his short stubby little life.  His dangerously enlarged heart was put to the test as he tirelessly gathered sticks from nearby bushes to build his house.  After ten minutes though the little sausage biscuit was out of breath, and already hungry.  He was nearly out of candy bars and realized that building a house is a lot of work.  “Screw it” he thought, “I’ll just sit here.”

Meanwhile, the other two chub-mates were still slowly ambling down the forest path, stopping every few minutes to catch their breath.  Both were exhausted, but neither wanted to show weakness to the other.  Soon Beanie saw a clearing from the trail. While investigating he walked into what turned out to be a beautiful meadow, filled with wildflowers.  Taken by its beauty, he decided to build his house there.

For seven hours Beanie slaved away to build his house.  As the sun passed by overhead the cheddar chunker slowly erected a dwelling made out of sticks, glued together by mud created from Gatorade.  At the end of the day he looked upon his creation, a pitiful hovel with the tensile strength of a spider web, and was satisfied.  He climbed in and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

Charles continued down the path until he spied a picturesque mountain ridge.  He ventured up the short incline, a task that left him close to death, and eventually reached the top.  Once there he settled into a peaceful pose, and began to meditate.  He left his perch only to venture into the nearby town for supplies, and to tell other animals how great it feels to meditate all day.

The Wolf

While the three chuckle buckets were off finding their sad, fatally misguided destiny, Alexander, the average sized and morally principled wolf, was facing hard times.  As an environmentalist and nature lover he despised eating meat, but his wolf ancestry dictated that he would die without it.  Alexander did the best he could by eating lower life forms, such as slugs, fish, and rodents, but it was never enough.  He hungered for red meat.

His inner conflict reached a head one day while he was trying to catch fish.  He had been staring into the water for hours, when he noticed his own haggard expression staring back at him.  “Who am I?” he wondered, looking at the gaunt face in his reflection.  He was about to throw himself into the stream, ending it all, when he heard the snap of twigs behind him.

Alexander turned to see Weenie, standing in the clearing behind him, munching on a snickers bar and humming a merry little ditty.  Before he could even react the pudgy porker squealed in terror, and bolted into the undergrowth.  He barreled through the forest like a truck – a very fat truck.  Now curious, Alexander decided to delay his suicide and follow the terrified pudding pop.

He did not have to go far.  In his haste the the poor porker had stumbled and fallen head first onto an old log.  A broken branch had been driven straight through his bulbous head, and protruded out the back like a bloody spear.  Somehow his lungs continued to gasp for air, each stroke followed by a veritable fountain of blood from the wound.

Alexander slowly approached the body and gave it a few sniffs.  The smell of the warm arterial blood called to him, like a song beyond time.  He yearned to bite into the warm flesh and feast on the dimwitted little pork chop.  Yet, his conscience held firm, and he resisted the urge.  Taking one last look to admire the sweet embrace of death, Alexander continued through the forest to find a suitable cliff to throw himself off of.  

It was not long until he came across a ramshackle lean-to in the middle of a meadow.  He first thought it was a poorly assembled pile of firewood, until he saw a quivering gut rising and falling beneath.  Alexander called out a short greeting, once, twice, then finally a third time before the sleeping cheddar biscuit awakened from his slumber.

Upon seeing the wolf Beanie panicked, and bolted out of his shoddy hovel.  The entire thing collapsed into a pile of sticks as he furiously waddled away from the wolf and into the forest.

Alexander observed the squealing bacon ball with casual disinterest.  Here too was another mammal he would not eat, yet was terrified of him nonetheless.  All he wanted was a friend. Too tired to kill himself, Alexander laid his head down and drifted into a dreamless sleep.

The Brothers Grimm / Rivers of Blood

The next day Alexander awoke to the delicious smell of sizzling meat.  He wiped the drool off his muzzle and followed the aroma down the forest path.  He eventually arrived at the base of a small hill.  Thinking there might be a suitable overlook to jump from, he climbed to the top.

On top of the hill he found a peculiar site.  A giant beach ball made of pink flesh was stooping over a large fire.  As Alexander got closer he could see that the living weather balloon was in fact another pig.  This chubster was slowly rotating a spit which contained what looked like a leg, from another similarly fat pig.

Upon hearing the wolf’s approach, the porker turned around and smiled nervously.  Through stammers and nervous snorts Charles explained that he had cooked his brother Beanie as a peace offering for the wolf.  “Please don’t kill me” added the terrified baconator, slowly backing away from the fire.

As Alexander approached the flames he recognized the bleeding carcass of the second pig lying in the grass, surrounded by a surprising number of stones.  The still pink flesh was covered in bruises, his skull utterly collapsed and oozing grey matter.  He realized that, in all likelihood, this second bumbling brother had been stoned to death by the third.

Meanwhile Charles was making his escape.  The little tub of lard scurried down the hillside as fast as his tiny little ham hocks could carry him.  Soon gravity took over and his attempt at running became tumbling.  Despite bouncing off rocks and careening into trees the rolling porker still gathered significant speed.

He might have rolled to relative safety, bruised, but otherwise still alive, had it not been for Mrs. Badger.  At the very moment that Charles was tumbling downhill, Mrs. Badger, a poorly named and often misunderstood bear, was hanging her laundry to dry.  She had just run her clothesline, a razor thin wire, tightly between two trees.  Two trees that happened to be directly in the path of one tumbling tater tot.

Charles hit the clothesline head on and at high speed.  Unfortunately, it was not fast enough.  Instead of a clean amputation, the clothesline-turned-garrott merely sliced through most of his porcine skull.  He tumbled to a stop and lay on the ground quivering, the top of his skull flapping like the top of a boiling tea kettle.  Mrs Badger was understandably stunned, not only by the sudden arrival and demise of one C. Porker, but by the surprising lack of brain matter under his flapping hood.  She decided to eat him anyway.

Epilogue: Tired of eating slugs and on the verge of starvation, Alexander decided that the only humane thing to do was to end his own life.  Worried about botching the job and ending up in even more misery he decided to consult an internationally renowned assassin to help him.  A lone woman with a red cape known only by her codename: Riding Hood.

TLDR for kids: The people you trust the most are the ones most likely to stone you and roast your corpse over a spit.  Wolves aren’t always evil, pigs aren’t always kind.  Eating red meat is bad for you, but being a mammal made out of delicious bacon is even worse.

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