Spring Cleaning in the Studio
Art, Escapism, and Despair
Folds and Fabric in Art
A Gift from the Netherworld
News for February!
The Three Little Pigs: Memoirs of a Misunderstood Wolfby Erin Metcalf
We wolves are so misunderstood.
Granted, some of us eat a few little pigs every once in a while, but we're not criminals. Those silly pork chops-- I mean, pigs-- always assume we're mass murderers or something. I'm an innocent wolf. I am not crazy. I do not belong in an institution for the criminally insane.
Forgive me; I'm getting ahead of myself. I'd like to explain the events that led up to my wrongful incrimination.
I am a traveling salesman by trade. I go door to door in the neighborhoods of Toontown, USA and sell pinwheels to unsuspecting victims-- er, willing customers. It's usually a remarkably profitable business, but for some reason there has been a dramatic decline in pinwheel sales of late. In short, nobody's buying. This has not been good news for me. Being a family wolf, I have a bitch and three pups to support. I love them dearly and had not seen them for two long months prior to my incarceration. I could not go home empty-handed to their hungry little mouths, and I was getting desperate. The home of three pig brothers was my last resort.
"El Rancho de los Tres Puercos" was really not a ranch at all. However, it was a good-sized piece of land on the outskirts of town. There were three houses on the property, set short distances apart. They were rumored to have been built by the pigs themselves.
As I approached the first house, I noticed something. The pig that had built it was definitely not an architect. It was quite unsturdy; in fact, it looked like it might cave in at any moment. On a closer inspection, it appeared to be made out of straw. I chuckled in disbelief as I knocked on the door, which promptly fell off its hinges.
"Who is it?" mumbled a sleepy voice from the dark inner confines of the tiny house. "Who's waking me up at this ungodly hour?"
It was one o'clock in the afternoon. I got the feeling this would not be an easy sale.
"Good day to you, sir," I began politely. "I'm very sorry about your door. I'm selling pinwheels. Do you mind if I give you a demonstration of my delightful product?"
"Who are you? Where are my glasses?" I heard sluggish movements inside as the pig finally shuffled out of bed. He stood in the doorway, dressed in wrinkled pajamas and rubbing his bloodshot eyes. He looked like he'd been hit by a bad hangover.
"What do you want?" he grumbled as he blinked up at me. Suddenly his eyes focused, and then widened in fear. He darted back inside, picked up the fallen door, and shoved it back into place. "You're a wolf!"
I felt like sarcastically saying, "Jeez, why didn't anybody tell me?" However, I could not afford to lose a potential client. Instead, I forced a smile.
"Yes sir, I am. I just want to show you how much fun a pinwheel can be..."
"Yeah, right. You just want a bacon breakfast," said the pig through the door.
I was starting to get frustrated. "Okay, look-- I'm just going to demonstrate this pinwheel for you. I'm sure you'll like it, but if you don't I promise I'll go away."
I was met with only silence this time. I decided to begin a demonstration anyway. Perhaps the pig would come to his senses and open the door. I pulled out my rainbow-colored pinwheel that was "for demonstration purposes only" and gently blew on it, as there was no wind. The colored vanes rotated slowly as I watched. It sure was pretty. I wanted to see the colors go faster, so I blew harder on the pinwheel. That's when it happened.
I didn't comprehend at first what I had done. Straw was flying everywhere. Suddenly the house that had been standing before me was no longer there. All that remained was a bed where the corner had been and the pig, cowering behind the door that he still gripped in his fat little cloven hooves.
I stood there in shock as the realization slowly came to me. I had just annihilated this little pig's house. He glanced at me in wide-eyed terror before he dropped the door and ran squealing, as fast as his piggy feet could carry him, towards his brother's house.
"Help! Help! This wolf's going to eat me!"
Without thinking, I ran after him. "Wait! I didn't mean to blow your house down! I didn't realize the strength of my own breath. Please, buy a pinwheel! You have to buy a pinwheel!"
The pig reached the door and pounded on it frantically. "Let me in! There's a lunatic wolf out here!"
Another piggy face appeared at the window. His countenance changed when he saw me. "You're crazy if you think I'm opening this door, bro."
"I'm your own flesh and blood! Open up!"
"Not a chance."
This pig was stuck with me. He stood backed up against the door, beads of cold sweat trickling down his ashen face. There was no way he could escape my sales pitch now.
"Sir-- I am truly sorry about your house, but now will you listen to me and perhaps watch a demonstration of my pinwheel?"
He nodded, with a weak, placating smile. Otherwise he stood frozen in place. I had his full attention; and I let him have the best sales pitch I had ever given in my life. I talked for ten minutes straight about the benefits and stress-relieving effects of playing with pinwheels, not to mention the expanded lung capacity after prolonged use. When I was finished I was sure he would be thrilled with my product and buy a dozen pinwheels; but he just stood stiffly against the door and stared at me. I did not allow myself to become completely disheartened just yet.
"Maybe you just need to see the pinwheel in action. I'm sure you'll love it." I filled my lungs with air to demonstrate. I had gotten so caught up in my speech that I forgot all about the disastrous episode of my previous pinwheel display. As they say, history repeats itself. This time, however, the house was constructed of plywood. It didn't scatter everywhere like the straw house had done. It just toppled over with a loud creak, landing with a thud on the pig inside.
Squeals of surprise and terror could be heard coming from underneath the ruins. The pig, obviously shaken, pushed up the door, crawled out, and took off running. His brother wasn't far behind. I could hear him shouting, "That's what you get for not letting me in, you bacon burger!"
This was turning out to be a very bad day for all of us. With my head in my hands, I slowly walked to the third little pig's house, where the others had taken refuge. I was thinking of home, and my soft warm bed. I thought of my wife and children, who were probably starving. I knew I had to do something desperate.
As I neared the solid brick house, I could hear the frantic shouts of two pigs and the calm, level-headed voice of a third.
"Call the police! Call the FBI! Call the insane asylum, this wolf is deranged!"
"Now, take it easy," said the third pig. "I want you to tell me exactly what happened."
"Well, he said he was a pinwheel salesman. But then he deliberately blew our houses down, and he's trying to kill us! Besides, anybody who goes door to door selling pinwheels for a living has got to be a few cards short of a deck."
There was silence for a moment, and then the third brother said, "You're right. I'll make the call."
I couldn't believe my ears. These pigs were accusing me of insanity and attempted murder. A hot rage began to boil up inside of me. All my patience and calmness vanished; and my anger and frustration rushed to the surface. My businessman's equanimity left me and my animal instinct took over. I had a family that was waiting for me to bring home the bacon, and there were three big chunks of it no more than a few feet away. The only things between me and them were a solid oak door and a few meager bricks.
I thought, "Forget the pinwheels. I'm going to blow this house down on purpose!" I huffed and I puffed, but the house didn't budge. I took a deeper breath and blew with all my might. This time the windows rattled, but otherwise nothing happened. So I focused all my energy, frustration, despair, and rage; and I inhaled so sharply and so deeply that I could feel it in my toes.
As I blew the third and final time, everything began to go dark. The world tilted, and my sense of balance turned inside out. The last thing I heard before losing consciousness was the three pigs singing a wicked, taunting song: "Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf...."
When I came to, I found myself in restraints, strapped to a bed in a room with padded walls and no windows. The guards and orderlies were all pigs, and they all seemed to know the same song. It's enough to drive a wolf insane.
Erin Metcalf is a sculptor of fantasy creatures who occasionally dabbles in writing. She has a husband and one furry cat-child.
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