I tried writing a book of children’s stories earlier this year but stopped after this dark little piece emerged. Too morbid for kids? Perhaps, but I wanted to add more layers to the usual twee Disney film message of, ‘Be Yourself’.
The Fatal Wannabe
Once there was a wild pig who wanted attention and she saw that the beautiful animals in the forest received the most attention; the snake with shiny scales, the peacock with his colourful tail and the fox who was hunted for his red pelt. Envious of the snake, peacock and fox, she was rude to them.
But the most beautiful animals were the swans. The pig saw the swans gliding past on the river and she wanted to join them. The pig waded into the water to approach the queen of the swans, but surrounded by her followers the swan queen did not see the pig and she swam away. All of her attendants did the same.
Enraged at this insult, the pig stormed back to the forest and sulked. Along came an owl.
“You cannot get their attention until you look like one of them.” the owl advised and flew away.
The pig sulked even more but the owl was right. The pig yelled so that the whole forest could hear her;
“WHO CAN HELP ME LOOK LIKE A SWAN?”
The pig kept yelling until the other animals were desperate to shut her up.
Along came a snake:
“Crawl through this hole in the tree-trunk and you’ll be slender like me, I crawl through holes all the time” and the snake slithered away.
The pig stuck her head in the hole and gouged her skin trying to crawl through.
Along came a peacock:
“Stick some feathers on your tail. Take some of mine.” The pig did that.
Along came a fox who never liked the pig,
“Some of my northern cousins have white fur. They paint their fur white, I can help you.”
The fox took some white clay from the river bank and rubbed it over the pig’s body.
The pig was delighted with her new look and the other animals said the same to keep the pig quiet.
When the swans passed by, the pig ran to the river to get their attention but the swan queen screamed in terror at this creature painted white, with large feathers and ruined skin. The swan soldiers flying overhead heard the cries of their queen, swooped down and pecked the pig to death.
After that the forest was very quiet and peaceful.