Another fairy tale dripped from My pen
Once upon a time, there were three little pigs: in fact, triplet piglets - hard to say, but true. Their names were Henry, Andrew and Mark, which was nothing if not unfortunate, as their initials put together spelt HAM. Those familiar with the usually triumphant ending of this benign fairy tale in which three little piggies win over a nasty wolf will see nothing sinister in this and, indeed, if this were the usual version of the tale, there would be nothing sinister in it. But it's not. So get ready for death and destruction to little piggies, kiddos, and sleep well tonight ... if you CAN.
Neighbours gossipped together about whether or not to point out the HAM thing to Mr and Mrs Pig when they brought the triplet piglets home, but in the end it was decided that the wisest course was to keep schtum. This was influenced not a little by the fact that Mr Pig was the size of a small continent and the British weight-lifting champion in the porcine class of the sport. Indeed, if Mr Pig had been at home more and not touring the UK winning prizes, he may have been able to exert some good old Biblical discipline over his wife (a sexy little thing, considering the snout and all, popular with the male customers at the cafe where she worked, and completely disillusioned with her fitness-obsessed husband) and over his wayward offspring, Henry, Andrew and Mark.
For they were evil little sods.
It was after their third expulsion from school for disruptive and bully-like behaviour that Mrs Pig called the Social Services to plead with them to take her piglets away and put them in some kind of corrective institution. It was something suggested by a rather dapper-looking pig in a waistcoat and fancy hat who was visiting the house more than was deemed seemly by her curtain-twitching neighbours; in fact, every time Mr Pig was away weight-lifting, Mrs Pig's visitor arrived with flowers, chocolates and a smile as wide as a side of bacon. It was also at his suggestion that Mrs Pig wept as she told her sorry tale to a Social Worker about how the piglets regularly rampaged about the house, hurling their fat little bodies hither and thither, high on the Coca-Cola they demanded constantly, yelling about how the modern PS2s weren't designed for trotters. 'I just can't handle them any more,' she sobbed. 'Can someone please come and take them away?'
What she didn't know, and perhaps, as things turned out, she wouldn't have cared if she had known, was that the lady she had spoken to at the Social Services Office was working for Wolf Inc, an underground network of contacts designed to supply lupine appetites. Wolf Inc had helped her with her CV and application, and she had been appointed into the post just that day as a Social Worker. So, she had not quite believed her luck when the desperate Mrs Pig came on the phone, asking for help with her uncontrollable teenage triplet piglets. What a coup this was, and how pleased would Raymond Wolf, Chief Exec of Wolf Inc, be when she told him. Perhaps she would even get a bonus. Perhaps even a night in his stylish mansion ... after all, she had heard the rumours.
It was very early the next morning, just before the winter sun came up. Mrs Pig and her fancy-pig had shared an exhausting night of love, exhausting not because of any skill on his part, but because their passion had had to be delayed until she had got Henry, Andrew and Mark persuaded into their own beds. The piglets had spent the evening playing shoot-em-ups on the new flatscreen TV in the living room, leaping around on the sofa and smashing several precious ornaments in the process. Being expelled yet again from school had seemed to bother them not a jot; in fact, they had brought home cheap white cider and pizza with which to celebrate, and no matter what she did, she could not stop them from slugging the alcohol straight from the bottle, passing it to each other with cheers and grunts of glee, and throwing slices of pizza at the wall if there was too much pepperoni. Mrs Pig's visitor had sat in the kitchen, having found the sight of the piglets' behaviour distressing, and Mrs Pig couldn't help but feel disillusioned by his passive attitude. Already she was missing Mr Pig's muscles; at least they indicated some kind of inner strength, some hardness at the core, even if it weren't true.
All this, once the piglets were in the room they all shared, had taken the edge off Mrs Pig's desire for her new love, and judging by his performance he wasn't feeling too hot either. There was a sense of doom over the whole thing, no doubt about it. They lay side by side on the bed, both looking at the ceiling, with space for at least another three pigs between them, which was, of course, metaphorically exactly the problem. Gradually, they had drifted off to sleep, both unhappily.
Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass woke Mrs Pig from an exciting dream of what might have been had it not been for her whole life. She sat up, her eyes wide. Her lover was snoring like a drain, but over this noise came squeals of terror from the piglets' room which echoed around the house. She turned to see if her lover had heard, and he obviously had, as he had disappeared under the duvet and she could see one quivering trotter protruding over the edge of it. The coward!
She leapt out of bed, dealing him a violent side-swipe as she did so which caused him to begin whining in a grotesque and childish way. She pulled her dressing gown around her (just - the years hadn't been kind). Suddenly, everything came into perspective. Perhaps Mr Pig was a self-seeking, arrogant swine, only interested in medals and prizes. Perhaps her three piglets weren't the obedient, polite offspring she had hoped for. But they were all she had, and what's more, out of all of them, she was the only one who couldn't lift the recycling box on a Tuesday to put it at the front of the house or shift the fridge when milk got spilled underneath it.
She burst out of her bedroom and into the hallway. Perhaps it was a burglar. She would save her babies. She would fight the intruder off - probably an opportunist kid from the council estate looking for spare cash. She would be in the papers as the sacrificial mother pig who risked her life for her young ones. She would get a medal of her own, perhaps.
And then she stopped.
Three wolves, as tall as trees, and as black as sin, were creeping out of her piglets' room. The fur around their grinning mouths was red and shining, and their long, sharp teeth gleamed in the moonlight which lit up the hallway through a high window. Each wolf carried a large bag over his shoulder and on each bag a dark pink stain was spreading wider with every second. One wolf spotted Mrs Pig and he smiled widely so that she could see his tongue, lolling over his bottom lip as he panted into the night. She met his eyes, just for a moment, and then she saw them flicker interestedly past her into the marital bedroom. She stepped back. He turned, beckoning with a sticky brown-red paw to the others, so that the three wolves then stood at the doorway of her room and looked in. She looked with them. There, peeping over the edge of the duvet, was her disappointing lover, his piggy eyes as round and white as dinner plates.
She let the wolves squeeze past her and she waited for one, long second to see if they would detain her too. There was a tiny, tiny frisson of disappointment when she realised they weren't in the least interested in her, and she automatically put a trotter up to her bristly hair to smooth it down over her ears. Then, she took her chance, tiptoeing down the stairs and out into the dark winter morning. A light snowfall layered the streets and Mrs Pig stepped carefully up the street towards the town, hearing as she did so a long, long scream cutting into the quiet night. She knew there was a train to London within the hour. She would go and join Mr Pig at the European Porcine Weightlifting Championships. She hoped he would be pleased to see her; she was fairly sure he had not guessed about her lover.
Somehow, suddenly, she wanted yet again to be held within Mr Pig's strong arms, to feel the firmness of his belly, and to live happily ever ... well, as happily ever as possible, after.