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Aester's Fables IV
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Sat, March 01 2008 - 7:23 pm

National Pig Day

Piglet has been pretty much ignoring me lately - too busy foraging through the last weeks of winter to have much time for the dietarily insignificant.  Today, though, I sang "Oh, Piglet, Oh, Piglet" (to the tune of that popular song from the sixties that goes, "Oh Venus, Oh Venus") and she came dancing out of the woods doing double triple entrechats.  She is so glad the light is coming back!  (Although I don't know why, she sleeps through most of it anyway!)

"Piglet, I'm so glad to see you!" I enthused, "because I wanted to tell you it is the U.S.'s National Pig Day!"  (I had to tell her the country, because although Piglet is here most of the time, she is an international traveller and likes to put on airs, pretending that she is such a world citizen that you simply must specify such things.  After all, there are over 200 countries in the world!)

"National Pig Day!" Piglet responded, swelling almost imperceptibly (the only reason you could tell at all is because she is a little winter-scrawny!)  "So what do I get?"

"Oh, er, how about ... attention?" I stammered.  (I hadn't thought about that!  Boy, Piglet is quick on the up-take!)

Piglet snorted.

Really!  You'd think she didn't like attention, when everybody knows pigs... Piglet started to walk away.

"Wait, Piglet!  Don't you want to seize this opportunity to tell us more about pigs?  There is so much we don't know and understand!  Like, why will pigs eat anything?"

Piglet looked at me pityingly, but the effect was a little marred, because she was also wondering if she should be insulted.  "Because we are hungry!"

"But even when I'm hungry..." I tried to think of a tactful way to say it.

Piglet took a step towards me.  "You wonder why I'll eat anything?  Did you ever wonder why piglets only nurse for a couple of months, when human infants will nurse for years if you let them?"

"Er, no."  I really hadn't!  "I thought it was just a species-dependent kind of thing, you know, maybe proportional to the gestation period...."

Piglet, bored, interrupted.  "Pig's milk is bitter!  It is strong and bitter-nasty, and believe me, after that, anything tastes good!  Anything and everything!  Speaking of which..." and she went kind of half-waltzing, half-arabesqueing after a particularly plump junco bird.

Over her shoulder, she called back.  "If you don't believe me, ask Pig Boy!"  Talking to me made her lose track of the Junco, but to tell the truth, I don't think she was going to catch it anyway!

(And who on earth is Pig Boy?!)

Piglet and the Raccoon

Now that Spring is here, Piglet is more cheerful.  She is light on her feet (well, relatively, anyway!)  During the winter, when I gain weight due to relative inactivity, she loses weight due to relative starvation.  So even though her outlook is improved, her disposition, unfortunately, is not.  (These moods may sound mutually exclusive, but they aren't.  If you knew Piglet, you would understand!)

How can she be expected to be spiritual when she is at present so far from spherical? she asks petuniantly!

Her nephews annoy her.  They act like little princes, pointing at things with their tiny hooflets and squealing "oink oink!" when they see something they want - expecting her to fetch it for them!

Her neighbors irritate her.  Especially that pesky raccoon!  Because Piglet and Raccoon eat a lot of the same stuff, their relationship is difficult at best.  If you can call it a "relationship" at all.  Only in the ecological sense!

" 'Don't judge a book by its cover!' " mutters Piglet sarcastically.  "In the case of Raccoon, that is exactamentally what you should do!"

What do you mean, Piglet?  He's just a wild animal like yourself, and-

Piglet draws herself up to her full knee-height.  "How can you say that!  Look at him!  His coloration is positively zany!  No upright, normal animal looks like that!"

I'm tempted to say that none of the mammals around here are "upright" but that would be bratty.  (And anyway, Piglet is plowing on regardless and probably wouldn't hear me!  Her ears are pretty flat right now!)

"He lives right next to that farm and he told me he" (Piglet lowers her voice to a hiss) "went into their house last night!"  Her snout quivers indignantly and (if the truth be told) a little fearfully! 

Piglet is very ambivalent about humans.

Oh, she is not above foraging in their fields and gardens and (now it is my turn to whisper!) their garbage cans and compost piles!  But she has a disdain for domestic pigs that hang around just waiting to be turned into ham and bacon and sausages!  She suffers from a real fear that humans will take it into their heads to hunt her for the same purpose!  (Heaven forbid!)

Raccoon, on the other hand, seems immune from predatory interest on the part of people!  The humans in these parts don't seem to eat raccoon any more.  Only a saint could fail to resent that kind of exemption, just a little!

And Piglet is no saint!  Especially not a Spring-slender, hungry Piglet!

She rants on.  "Raccoon went into their house last night - right through the doggie-door!  He got a rug there!  Stole it out of their house while they were sleeping!  It's in his den right now, I bet, making him all comfy!"

A long speech for Piglet!

I wasn't saying anything.  Piglet's indignation was helping her keep warm in the cold, early-morning air.  Why try to calm her down?  I was bemusedly thinking I would sure like to have seen that raccoony feat!

"That rascal is exactly what he looks like, with his bizarre bandit's mask and those greedy little paws!"

But while Piglet was saying all these indignant things, it sure seemed to me she was looking at her hooves regretfully!  An image of Piglet wedged into a pet door wedged into my mind.

Not likely, I guessed!  As Piglet trounced off self-righteously, I reflected that she was safe from any indoor predation temptations on the farm down the road!  Nothing like lack of capacity to discourage rapacity!

I figured Raccoon was safe from discovery, so I wouldn't worry about him, either!  Who would dream that a raccoon would even want an inedible thing like a rug?

Laughing to myself, I went whistling off home.

(Oh, if you want to see Raccoon stealing that rug, Google raccoon video doggie-door.  For real!  Just don't tell the farmer's family!  They might decide to dig out that old family recipe for 'coon stew after all!)


Piglet's Investigation

 or Raccoon's Rug

Piglet couldn't help it.  Her curiosity overcame her and she went to Racoon's "Hole in the Log" home to see his new rug.  The whole family was there hanging out, but to Piglet's surprise, they weren't lounging around on a newly carpeted floor!

Instead Raccoon had draped the rug over his body, with a torn-off strip over his head between his ears!  "Oh, hi, Piglet," he said distractedly when Piglet stuck her head in the door.  "I'm just trying to find a way to keep this on..."

He poked his head around the edge of his space and under his offspring, looking for... he did not know what!  "Got any ideas?"  No answer.  He looked around.  Piglet was laughing.  She was trying to laugh silently but she was snarfling and wheezing and grunting like crazy.

Here was Raccoon trying to give himself a full-body toupee, when the farmer he stole that rug from would have given a bushel of apples to have thick hair like Raccoon's on his pate!  (Piglet was sure of this, because she knew that in the old days, people wore coonskin hats and paid big money for raccoon coats!)

"What's so funny?" Raccoon asked, annoyed.

Piglet managed to gasp out, "Why?...."

"Because I need protection," Raccoon snapped.  "That's why!  You wouldn't believe the scratches and raps I get from the local dogs and cats when I try to steal, er, I mean partake of their lunch with them!"

Piglet was gaping with surprise while she was still laughing - a good trick!  You should try it sometime!  She thought Raccoon probably wouldn't admit even to himself that he was mischieving!  He didn't need a rug, he needed a mirror!

She was laughing so hard she couldn't breathe.  She half collapsed into the living room, threatening to squash Macoon and the rackidoons.

"Space hog!" Raccoon muttered under his breath, now completely hostilized.  Piglet didn't hear him.

"Space Pig!  Space Pig!" piped up the little ones, imitating their father.  "Space Pig!"

Piglet was transported.  They thought she was an astronaut!  She googled her eyes and stopped laughing at once.

And why not?  She already had ankle-wings and could fly around the world!  Why not fly around the Universe?  Zip around in the wide open spaces?  Visit the planets and their moonlets?

All she would have to do is fine-tune her jet propulsion system and she could escape into outer space!  Reach the stars!  Be a star!

Piglet was in such a hurry to find a good source of propulsion-generating foods that she was gone in a flash - and in the flesh, too, to the great relief of Raccoon and Macoon.

They wondered why she had come calling in the first place!


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