By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Sat, November 03 2007 - 8:14 am
Piglet looks over her shoulder at me, shrugs, and rolls her eyes all at the same time. A pretty mean trick! (er sumthin')
"Whatever," she grunts.
What's the problem, Piglet?
"You make me sound like some kind of didiummyot! Is it my fault I can't see very well? All you remember is all the zany daytime stories - "
Well, you know, Piglet, that's when I'm around...
"but you refuse to get it into your humanoid noggin that I (Actually she said it more like *** "I" *** ) am a creature of the night! I don't mostly run around looking at stuff - I live in my nose! My pout is in my snout! My joie is in l'eau - de cologne, that is!"
(I really hate it when Piglet starts trying to use French - she really fries it!)
"I may appear to be running, but in my mind, I am floating! I am wafting on the scent of truffles, or being buffeted by wavelets of yummy out-of-doors taste-treats, or trying to escape the tsunami assault of nasty smells...
(come to mention it, have you bathed lately? )...
I am not as you portray me! You are not even anthropomorphizing me! I am just, in your eyes, a pigification of you!"
At this point in her harangue, Piglet's eyes are very small and mean!
"You humans! You know what you did to my Great Uncle Boris from Russia? On TV? You offered him a cherry pie, and then took it away from him before he was finished! Brazen torture! In front of the whole world!"
But Piglet, it was almost gone...
"Almost!" Piglet towers, then pouts. (With her snout, of course!) "I've never even tasted one bite of cherry pie...." She looks up at me sadly. Or shyly. Or slyly....
Now it's my turn to say "Whatever." I'm off to make a cherry pie! Oh, and take a bath - of course! I think I'll use my cherry bubble-bath!
(Or, on second thought, maybe not!)
Piglet's Unjust Dessert and Apple-ogia
When I bring Piglet her cherry pie, (after removing a piece for myself, of course!) she looks at me sardonically.
"Look, I say hastily, "I made a little place for your snout to get a nosehold!" She grunts as though she considers me on a par with Uncle Boris' tormentors and almost literally plunges in!
"See, Piglet? It is a deep-dish pie!" I stare. "Or was!" How did she do it? Did she even have time to enjoy the little flakes of crust that rest so delicately on each forkful - well, there I go again, expecting her to be like a human! No forks here, just hooves and teeth and tusks!
She grunts again, this time (I imagine!) contentedly. Well, I'm glad she's happy. I had imagined making five little piglets happy with that pie, but I guess that wasn't reality.
Who/what is the real Piglet? Some would say she has shrunk in recent months. Where is the blithe zany Piglet who wanted to share every little thing with her sibs? Where is the good-willed soul who wanted to save the world?
Well, her siblings have all scattered, automatically spacing to establish their own territories where they can survive the winter. And it is kind of hard to worry about peace for the birds when they have flown south for the winter!
I don't think Piglet has shrunk! She is growing up, and is being forced to look at (er, I mean, smell!) what is right in front of her nose! Come Spring, when the weather is warm again, and food is plentiful, we will see a more light-hearted Piglet! A more expansive, global-viewing Piglet!
A Piglet I am looking forward to seeing, not smelling! (Because even I have a rudimentary sort of nose....)
Piglet at Night
I have taken Piglet's reproach to heart. I'm out here in the dark of a cold November night, lots of clouds and not much moon, following Piglet around. Piglet is a little grumpy, but isn't saying much. (I've told her I am here to observe, not interfere.)
The pie-snarfing was a week ago, and from the way Piglet is sniffing the night air, it doesn't look as if anything as yummy as cherry pie is wafting on it!
But off she starts at a trot! There are still crabapples on the ground near the old abandoned farmhouse. The squirrels have gotten most of the hickory nuts, but a few have come down in today's wind. Through my heat-sensitive glasses I can "see" little critters scurrying around on their own nightly rounds, but I can't make out what they are.
"Piglet! Wait up! Are those raccoons or possums?"
"Weasels, shmeasles," mutters Piglet, as one slinks through a brambly bush. "They got to that grub nest before we did, and gobbled them all up!"
Off she goes at a trot again, snuffling to and fro with her nose.
Piglet is just not in a playful mood. Maybe the "real" Piglet is to be taken seriously - a wild creature of the forest who is in for the struggle of her life this winter, but is this really the Piglet we know and (usually) love?
Maybe her bad eyesight is a weak point, but it is a lovable one! It helps her overlook the faults of others, as she gets herself into zany predicaments that are the kind of "reality" we can enjoy and laugh about!
No, this Piglet is all business, driven by hunger to join the other growing-ever-rounder denizens of the wilds who have to eat their way into their winter wraps!
I'm getting hungry myself, and try to eat a nut or two, but can't get to the meats without my nutcracker. A little hunger is better than a broken canine!
There are strange rustlings and noises out here!
Piglet trips through a rivulet that I don't see, and "Oof!" I trip over a root sticking out over the stream-bed in the dark! I hear a squirrel titter and chatter.
Some adventure! I'm heading home to a hot bath and bed. I'm not a good enough smeller for this adventure. Although maybe Piglet and her forest friends will have a good laugh about me later!
Well, turn about is fair play!
Piglet's Halloween was really strange. One of her playmates, a prickly porcupine, was wearing his coat inside out. The whole night long he was going, "Owie!" and "Yikes!" but he wouldn't take it off and put it on right!
The sloth was hanging upside down, pretending to be a superpiglet who could walk on the ceiling! (Piglet guessed that could have been inspired by her ankle-wings, but who knows what crosses a sloth's mind?)
Who hangs around long enough to find out?
Not Piglet, when there is trick-or-treatin' to be done!
Piglet dressed up as a wolverine. Being normally quite civilized, for a wild critter, she was reveling in the idea of being Bad! Some of the gentler critters of the forest were really kind of intimidated, even if she didn't really snatch away their truffles the way she threatened she would!
She pretended that drifts of dead leaves were somebody's tidy little house, and dove in and tore them up, stomping and snarling. Even if a treat was lying around free for the taking, she pretended she was robbing a nest and scrabbled around a whole bunch.
It was wonderful fun!
(Which I hate to spoil by giving credits, but Porcupine's inside-out-coat was the idea of William Austin Smith III, and Sloth's upside-down-walking Piglet was the idea of the Great Brezny. The Wolverine, and Piglet acting like one? Hey, I'm just the reporter here, telling what happened on Piglet's zany Halloween! (Next year I'll try to be more timely, but how do I do that? In N. America, if a holiday is about to happen, it is an obsession (but too early to tell what happened) - if it already happened, it's passe!
Piglet is giving me dirty looks. Piglet's Halloween is eternal! Her Halloween will live forever in the Annals of the Comic Wild! (She is glowering lower, if that is possible! "Take out that 'Comic!' ")
Oh, Piglet, give me a break! This is the United States of America! Life is still good! We North Americans laugh a lot, or we want to, or we are free to... or we think we have the right to.... Hmm. Let's face it, life is probably better in lots of other parts of the world, but they aren't televising it as much! (Not to mention deceptive images as to how good it is here. Believe me, folks! All the TV people have much more exciting lives than us regular citizens! Except of course, those who have an internal Piglet who is a constant source of....)
Piglet! Oh, come on... Piiiglet!
Piglet and the Carpenter Bee
One day Piglet was snoozing in her favorite little dip when something tickled her nose. She was dreaming, and in the dream some strange boarlet was flirting with her, tickling her nose with a bluejay feather. But he just went too far, tickling and tickling, and all of a sudden, Piglet woke up!
There was sawdust on her nose! What the... heckety-peck was going on? She shook it off and tried to see where it was coming from. All she saw was a bee. A big bee, but still, just a bee.
Piglet went back to sleep. Tickle, prickle. Bzz Bzz. This time the boarlet (who really was so immature!) was humming a little tune that sounded kind of like the sound people make with tissue paper on a comb. But even less musical, if that is possible! She opened her eyes again. What the... pell-mell?
Just a bee. But now that she thought about it, he was acting strange. His wings were vibrating rapfitfully, but he wasn't going anywhere! Just in and out of a hole in the old abandoned cabin where her little dip was (on the sunny warm south side of it - shhh, don't tell anyone!) No one had been around here for years, that Piglet ever saw.
Except this bee was going in and out of the hole, blowing around sawdust with his wings!
"What are you doing?" asked Piglet. Not meaning to confront him, exactly, but after all, she was here first! And now that she was more awake, she could see that the sawdust making her nose tickle was mixed with something decidedly poopy-looking!
The Carpenter Bee, (for that was what he was) did not deign to reply, so Piglet settled down to watch. He was going into and backing out of a hole just about the size of my finger! (she told me). Fluttering his wings the whole time.
Piglet was mystified. She had moved a little out of the way and in between snoozes saw the pile of sawdust and you-know-what get larger. It was the shape of an upside-down cone. (Not an ice-cream cone, shorter and squatter than that.) She began to believe that her eyes were telling her that that bee was drilling a hole!
She knew he wasn't a honey bee. He was too big, and had a shiny black abdomen. Once when he looked her way she saw yellow marks on his face.
But a bee - drilling? Into wood? It made her wonder if he could hang a picture or two for her - until she remembered she didn't have any!
Amazing. A bee drilling. She thought bees were all gentle, all about pollinating flowers and helping create the fruits and foods she ate!
Well you know the old saw, (haw haw) it takes all - well, in this case species, she guessed.
But she wondered if she should warn the busy oblivious bee about that woodpecker hanging around, looking mighty interested in Mr. Bee's technique!
And the Hoof to You, Too!
Yesterday Piglet gave me the finger.
Er, well, with her hoof! (Can't call it a hooflet when it is doing that!)
She said she wasn't really doing it to me, just to what I was reading to her.
But of course, I was reading it to her. Zany me.
She couldn't really raise her foot the right way, but she did the best she could, turning around backwards and kind of twisting her hind hock around.
And of course she couldn't look me in the face, but she did twist her thick little neck around and try!
She was giving me the, er, hoof, the evil cock-eye, and mooning me all at the same time!
It was really funny.
The other morning I was hiking by the Carpenter Bee's cabin and saw Piglet sitting on her haunches, looking at the Bee's little holes with a mischievous glint in her eye.
Being in a hurry to see as much of the sunrise as possible reflected in the water, I didn't stop for a chat.
On my way back, I smelled a sty-smell that compelled me to look over at - the Carpenter Bee's cabin!
Piglet had left a conical deposit of her own, right under Bee's nest hole!
Oh, Piglet. Sometimes turn-about is definitely not fair play!
Hmmm. Can bees smell?
Piglet in New Mexico
Piglet wangled her wings from her uncle over the holidays. (I guess the educational porpoises were on holiday too!) She went to New Mexico to the pecan orchards, where she decided to go pecan hunting!
She ran across a group of her distant relatives, the javelinas, but they were kind of stand-off-ish and snooty. (Hah, hah! Not to mention snouty!) One of the little ones yelled, "We're not pigs!" Just as well, Piglet figured. Their curved tusks looked very sharp! And she did smell that musky crowd before she even saw them! Maybe the ones her age were intimidated by her larger size.
No matter if they weren't sociable! The pecans were ripening late this season (just her good luck!) and there were plenty for everybody. Peccaries (another name for javelinas) prefer prickly pear and agave to anything else, anyway, Piglet noticed.
When she finally got down to work and cracked a few pecans, most of them were yummy! There were a few nuts that had tiny white eggs inside, or a grub! (I researched those - they are (respectively) carpenter moths and pecan weevil larvae - very destructive to pecans!) Piglet didn't seem to care. It was just like more Christmas! What was she going to have in this tasty little package? Nut, eggs, or a nibble of protein? (She probably could have told by looking at the shell, but she didn't know that then. Besides, that would spoil the surprise!)
Piglet saw some armadillos ("little armored ones", in Spanish) which she found really excitingly exotic! They were not much interested in nuts. They mostly ate insects and lizards and stuff like that.
The only critter that Piglet really seemed to dislike were the vinegaroons (another name for whiptail scorpions.) I guess she got a little too close to one of those little four-inch arachnids and it let loose with some acetic acid from a gland near the base of its scary-looking tail! Just missed her eye! "I was not molesting it!" Piglet protests. "I just thought maybe it might be something good to eat...."
Piglet is back home now, stewing and moaning because she is going to miss the Pecan Festival in Cuchillo the fourth week in February. And it's zany hard grubbing around for food in the frozen ground! Dang!
Piglet's Curled Dimension
Piglet's been hanging around the schoolyard again, partly hoping to get stuff that the kids threw out of their lunchboxes (not too much of that in the winter!) and partly to eavesdrop. Piglet has zany educational pretensions, or maybe she just figures knowing stuff won't hurt! What she picks up might come in hoofy sometime!
Anyway, today Piglet heard the teacher saying something about curled-up other dimensions - that there might be more aspects to the world than we know about. (Well, Piglet knew that - those humans have no sense of smell, to oink of!) But these other dimensions sounded intriguing. They are supposed to be very small, coiled up into all kinds of strange shapes. Could Piglet have some in her tail, she wondered? Her tail is curly!
(Well, of course we know Piglet's tail is not curly, but Piglet can't see it, so she is in denial. Some hair is curlier than other hair - look at people and dogs! So why shouldn't her tail be pinker and cuter and curlier than other boars' tails? Besides, try as she might, she can't twist and contort her body enough to see her own tail, not even reflected in a puddle! In the absence of any evidence to the contrary (everybody knows that eyewitnesses are not reliable!) Piglet considers herself curly-tailed.)
Maybe if she has other dimensions - whole other worlds of reality! - curled up in her curly little tail, she could turn herself inside-out and visit! Maybe if she tried really hard she could go in there and if she liked it she could stay there forever!
A cold blast of air bearing snow and ice particles down from the trees hits Piglet's haunches. Piglet hangs her head and sighs. She can see her breath in the frigid winter air. She kind of expects her curly little tail is not going to help her through this winter! Better go rustle up some grub!
Just now I came upon Piglet, curled up all huddled in her little dip of a bed. She was sleeping, and I could tell by the grimace on her face that this was not a pleasant dream. She seemed so cold and lonely!
I tried to imagine some beastie coming along and giving her a rub to soothe her, but somehow no image would come. She was so much bigger than so many of the other animals! And how could boars massage each other, with their sharp hooves? It was a zany idea!
So I did it. Poor Piglet, I thought, crooning to her as she lay sleeping. I have these wonderful hands. I will smooth out your tense over-worked muscles (finding food in the winter is hard work!) and turn your dream to one that will make you smile!
And I did.
Then I came home and had some tea!
The Lion Cub Grows Up
While Piglet was in New Mexico she ran into her, er, not-so-little lion not-so-cubby-cuddly friend.
He started to tell her about his life and roamings. He described climbing trees and sniffing the air and running fast - all for prey.
He started rhapsodizing about how his mouth and teeth (his teeth!) had so many wonderful sensitive nerves that he could wrap his jaws around an antelope's neck and sever its spinal cord without even breaking a bone in its body!
Piglet's jaw dropped. She stared at him horrorstruck. He must have had Asperger's syndrome or something, though, because he didn't seem to notice. He went on and on, describing his increasing adolescent powers, laughing over a particularly adroit success.
Piglet couldn't move. She stared like a deer in headlights, not moving a muscle.
Eventually mountain lion sniffed a nearby bunny and saying, "So long!" moved away.
Piglet started breathing again. She felt shaky, and still a little zany with fear. Was that her little fellow refugee of the year before? She was glad she had been too paralyzed to break and run. Why Lion's instincts might have kicked in! He might have forgotten they had been friends and she might have become just another day's catch! Just another meal!
Piglet crooked her neck and looked at her soft, sensitive belly. She started wondering if she should become a vegetarian!
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