Stinky Ol' Pig
The sun peeked over the old red barn as hens clucked, cows mooed, and a gaggle of geese waddled through the barn with exciting news.
“Sally Sow has twelve new piglets!” They said all together.
“Maybe me and Mabel should go have a look,” said Camille the cow.
The farm animals took turns going to the farrowing pen to get a look at the little, pink piglets. They all lay quietly nuzzled beside their mother, except Percy, he was awake and listened to all the barn chatter.
“How cute?” declared Delilah Duck.
“Yeah cute, you know they’re going to stink, and it will be twelve times as bad as usual.”
“Not one of us barn animals smell like roses, Mrs. Lamb.”
“Well, at least I don’t wallow around in filth and eat slop.”
“Shhh! You’re going to hurt their feelings,” said Camille Cow.
“I don’t think they have feelings, Camille. They’re stinky pigs, and Farmer Joe should build them a new home, now that there are so many of them.”
The little piglets squirmed and squeaked.
“I think they’re hungry, time to go. You have a beautiful new family, Mrs. Sow.” Delilah Duck waddled out followed by Mrs. Lamb and Camille Cow.
The breezy spring days became hot summer days. Sally Sow took her piglets down behind the barn to the cool mud. As they ran and slid into the squishy, cool earth, she counted them. She counted only eleven. Percy was missing.
Sally Sow shouted to the others, “Has anyone seen Percy?”
Petey popped up out of the mud. “He went that way, Momma.” He pointed toward the edge of the woods.
“Stay right here, I’ll go get him.” Sally found Percy at the edge of the woods behind the barn, rolling in the wild honeysuckle that grew along an old fence. “Percy! Come join the rest of us, dear.”
Percy poked his head through the vines. “But, Momma, I like it here. It’s cool and the flowers make me smell nice.”
“You’re not supposed to smell like flowers, you’re a pig.” Sally grabbed Percy’s ear and led him to the cool mud. He refused to join his siblings in the brown, smelly sludge.
“Percy, what is wrong with you?” Sally asked.
“Momma, I heard ‘em talking about how pigs stink, and no one likes a stinky ol' pig. Mrs. Lamb, she, she doesn't want us to live in the barn, and I like it there.”
Sally cradled Percy in her arms. “Do you know why we pigs wallow in the mud, dear boy?”
Percy looked in his Momma's eye. “Cause we're filthy animals and eat slop?”
“No, honey. It’ because we’re made to do so. When it gets really hot outside, we pigs wallow in the mud to cool our skin. That’s just one way in which we differ from some other animals.”
“Yes, Percy. If you don’t do as I tell you and join the others in the mud on hot days, you’ll get very sick.”
“Yes, my dear.”
“But Momma, can’t I still roll in the honeysuckle? I like the sweet smell.”
“Yes. We can probably work something out. Now, you feel too hot. Go get in the cool mud.”
Percy ran and did a belly flop into the slimy, cool mud. He laughed and played with his brothers and sister all afternoon. Then, after the sun began to set, and the air began to cool, he headed for the honeysuckle climbing the fence behind the barn.
All the piglets headed into the barn--stinky and crusted with mud. Mrs. Lamb stuck her nose in the air as the piglet filed into their beds. Sally counted as each one passed. “One, two, three…Okay, where’s Percy?”
“Right, here Momma,” came a small voice from the barn door. Percy marched past Mrs. Lamb clean and shiny with a spring of honeysuckle wound around his ear. “Goodnight, Mrs. Lamb.” He nodded as he passed.