Once upon a time there were three little pigs who lived in a happy home with their mother and father, Ma and Pa Porkham. They all loved each other very much, but over the years, the young piggies grew tired of their parents’ authority.
“You always tell us what to do!” one would protest.
“Yes,” another would cry, “and you make us do chores!”
“And we have to eat all of our vegetable slop before we’re allowed to have any dessert slop!” the third would chime in.
So it was that the three little pigs decided that it was time to set out on their own. “We want independence!” they declared, and after their mother helped them pack all of their things (including jackets and mittens to keep them warm on chilly evenings) they set off to find a place to make their new home.
The three fat fellows travelled through the countryside for hours on end. Though they saw many beautiful places, none of them seemed just right to them. (One spot had almost seemed suitable, until one of the piggies noticed that the Wi-Fi connection was iffy at best.)
Then the littlest pig, Wilbur, pointed to a grassy hilltop on the other side of a lush green dell. “There!” he squealed. “That’s the place!”
But his brother Hamlet, the middle pig, began to tremble. “N-n-n-no,” he stammered fearfully. “We can’t!” His two brothers turned and immediately saw the reason for his fear. In order to get to the hill, the three little pigs would have to cross an old wooden bridge that went over a stream. Hamlet was terrified of water.
“Oh Hamlet,” scolded the oldest pig, Dave. “How many times do I have to tell you? A little water never hurt anypig!” Then he stomped off toward the bridge.
Hamlet began to cry. Plump little Wilbur kindly took hold of his brother’s trotter. “It will be okay, Hamlet. You’ll see. We can trust our big brother. He is much smarter and braver than we are.”
With much coaxing, Wilbur eased Hamlet along the path. When they finally reached the bridge they met up with Dave, whose forelegs were impatiently folded across his chubby chest. “It’s about time!” he cried. “Now I will show you both what childish little swine you have been!” He turned to cross the old bridge, calling back over his shoulder, “There is absolutely nothing dangerous in this water, and the bridge is perfectly safe!”
No sooner had these words left Dave’s mouth than he was met by the surprise of his life. A great green alligator leapt from the stream with a splash and landed thwap! on his hind legs in the middle of the bridge. He was a hefty reptile indeed, and the force of his landing shook the old wooden bridge to its very foundation.
“Oh my!” cried Dave, eyes as big as hamburgers. “W-w-what are you?” For he and his brothers, having lived a sheltered life, had never seen such a creature.
“Why, I’ze a gatuh!” replied the enormous green beast in his gravelly drawl. “Tell meh, is this heah . . . Canada?”
“Y-y-yes . . .” Dave’s little piggie knees were shaking.
The terrifying beast grinned, showing off his razor-sharp teeth. “Good! ‘Cuz I’ze-a left ma home in Flo-duh to fine me some,” here he paused to lick his lips, “bacon!”
At this all three little pigs burst into a deafening chorus of terrified squeaks, snorts and sobs. Paralyzed with fear, they could only stand in horror and watch as the hungry alligator paced toward them.
Luckily, there was a kindly farmer out working in his nearby field. Hearing the pigs’ clamour, Farmer O’Dell looked up to see the vicious beast about to attack the poor, helpless piggies. He immediately raised the 22-caliber rifle that he always kept slung over his broad shoulders. Kapow! went the gun as the farmer pulled the trigger.
At precisely the same moment, the ferocious monster stumbled, for the old wooden bridge had become wobbly when he had landed upon it. As the great green gator fell forward, the bullet whizzed above his head and shot clear through a wasps’ nest hanging from a nearby tree.
The fragile, papery home exploded with a poof! and 4,317 very startled wasps were left homeless and angry. The scattered swarm collected itself and turned in unison toward the bridge.
“W-w-wasps!” gasped Hamlet.
“Oh, dear,” cried Wilbur.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!” shrieked Dave.
Even Farmer O’Dell was so terrified that he simply threw his firearm at the alligator and ran back to his quaint little farmhouse. The rifle reached the confused reptile just as he stood back up. The gator caught the gun with catlike reflexes and looked around in astonishment. By now the three little pigs had started racing back up the trail away from the bridge, and Farmer O’Dell was almost out of sight.
Then he saw the wasps.
That old gator was back in the water faster than you could say Disney World. The only thing left for the enraged insects to sting was the rifle, which had landed with a clatter on the wiggly old bridge. The first 964 wasps to arrive actually took a stab at the farmer’s gun, but the rest of the swarm saw their friends’ bent stingers and decide to let bygones be bygones.
That brings us back to our three porky little friends. They had been so very afraid that they ran wee-wee-wee, all the way home. When they arrived, they made up a ridiculous lie about straw, sticks, bricks and a big bad wolf. Their parents, saddened at the sight of their three dear piglets all sweaty and afraid, believed every word, without question. And if you went to their house, you would find them all there today—old Ma and Pa Porkham and their three chunky, middle-aged and unemployed sons, Dave, Hamlet and Wilbur.
Space Cadets is my first book, but I have a bunch of ideas bouncing around in my head, so more are sure to follow!
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