By Stirling Edgewood
A ways back, not round here, was a pretty spot. A kingdom, I tell ya. Fulla’ grand castles, fancy princesses, dashin’ princes, magical doin’s, and dragons. Lots and lotsa’ dragons. Now way off yonder, tucked into a corner of dat kingdom like a hankee in a gentleman’s pocket, was a farm. And on dis farm was three pigs.
Now, dey weren’t no ordinary pigs. Not that you coulda’ told when dey first come a-pokin’ dey little noses out dey momma. Back den, dey looked most like reg’lar pigs, all scrawny and wrinkly and pink.
But dem pigs grew. Fast. Faster’n a famished fox chasin’ a fat jackrabbit. Dey got so big, only one’a‘em could get out da pig shed at de same time, and only den wipin’ clean de doorpost on each side. When usually four pigs could walk out dat shed side by side wit room between ‘em for floppin’ ears and swingin’ tails.
Now, dese here pigs was’nt just big. Dey was more’n dat. Dey was more’n large, huge, giant, gargantuan, or even humongous. Dey was garyuuugeuan!
Now dat farmer, he was pleased as a persimmon ‘bout how hefty dem hogs got. He was a-thinkin’ ‘bout all dat smoked ham, savory pork chops, ‘n tangy sausage he was gonna make outta ‘em. And bacon. Lots and lots’a salty sweet bacon.
Well, de day was a-coming when dat farmer was a-gonna take dem pigs round de slaughterhouse. But dem pigs war’nt too satisfied widdit. So dey thunk on it a spell.
“Don’ wanna be no ham hock,” said de first pig.
“No sir!” agreed de second pig. “Not no sausage neither.”
“Bacon,” growled de third pig. “Not exactly to my likin’.”
Dey decided de only way ‘round the butcher’s knife was to hatch an escape. Dat first pig had a plan. “Gonna jump over dat fence, den we light out.”
He took a long run, long as de pig pen would let ‘im. Made a pretty good jump too. But dat farmer was a smart one. He built his fences high. So when dat lumberin’ oinker jumped, he din’ go but half way up. Bounced off and fell splat in the mud like a sack’a parsnips. A big sack’a parsnips.
De second pig had another plan. “We big pigs. Maybe biggest ever. I’m a-gonna knock ‘er down, den we clear off.”
He run at dat fence like a ragin’ bull been stung by a nest’a hornets. Whacked into it pretty good too. But dat farmer was smarter’n a pig. He made dat fence strong too. So dat pig just bounced off, like a tractor tire dropped from a hayloft. A big tractor tire.
Dem first two pigs got to lookin’ ‘round for dat third pig. He was over inna corner da pen, his head buried in de mud, rootin’ round like a groundhog in spingtime.
“What you doin’ over dey?” asked de first two pigs.
“Jus’ diggin’,” he called back. “You fellas dig some too. By midnight we’ll be outta here.”
So dem three garyuuugeuan pigs set to digging. Sure ‘nough, come midnight dey had a hole unner dat fence could fit even dey fat hindparts.
Dem pigs lit outta dey like catfish runnin’ from a gator. Dey went trottin’ down de road for a spell. In fact, was de whole night dey kep’ goin’. When daylight spilled over de mountains and down inna valley like a shinin’ river, dey come to a town.
“Bein’ a bit peckish,” said de first pig, “I’m a-gonna stop here and forage for some grub.” So de first pig went inna town, but dem other two kept on trottin’ up de road.
Now when de first pig come inna dat town, dem townfolk stared like a bunch a one-eyed cats peekin’ inna seafood store. Dey never seen a hog his size.
“Ham,” said one villager.
“Sausage,” said another.
“Bacon,” said a third.
And sure ‘nough, dem fellas started after dat pig, intendin’ to carve him up inna breakfast, lunch, dinner, an maybe a few snacks besides.
Now, before dem hungry hamleters could do de piggie in, a dragon come a-swoopin’ out de sky an’ gobbled up a coupla dem townies. Dey skedattled back inna dey houses.
De dragon, he considered dat garyuuugeuan pig a bit. But he reckoned dat porker was a sot more tallow’n what he could swaller. So he run off back to his hidey hole.
De townies came outta dey houses most amazed.
“You see dat dragon high-tail it outta here?” asked one.
He done scared off de dragon!” shouted another.
Den dey looked at dat pig, and got to thinkin’ he might be some kinda fix to dey problem wit dat dragon.
One’a dem folks said to de pig, “Go find dat dragon, and get him good!”
“Why don’t ya go git ‘im yerself?” asked de pig. “More’a you’n him. All together ya most likely overwhelm de beast.”
“Nah,” said one townie. “Too scary like.”
“Sides,” said another, “can’t eat no dragon meat. Too tough and stringy. It’ll make ya sicker’n a cow what had a steak dinner.”
“An’ we’s peace-able folk anyhow,” added another.
“Well,” said de pig, “ain’t too keen on dragon fightin’.”
“We’ll give you a good recompense,” suggested one townie.
“Gold,” added another.
“Jewels, too,” said one more.
“Don’ know ‘bout gold and jewels,” replied dat pig. “But I am kinda partial to sweet taters pie. I’m’a go get dat dragon for ‘bout, say, a brazillion a dem sweet taters pies.”
Dem citizens took dat for a bargain, and promised de pig his brazillion pies.
De pig went a snufflin’ round de forests and hills ‘bout de town, till he found de dragon’s lair. De dragon came out a-howlin’ an’ a-roarin’ like a bear with his short-hairs caught in a steel-tooth trap. Den de two a dem got to it like a couple’a cats with dey tails tied together and hung over a wire.
It was a rough go for de pig, but soon enough he got de better’a dat dragon. He squashed dat dragon deader’n a june bug under a horses hoof.
When he trotted back to de town, tattered and chipped from de fightin’, de townfolk was happier’n Santa’s Elves de day after Christmas. Dey set about makin’ dem sweet taters pies.
“How many pies innna brziliion?” Asked one townie.
“Don’t rightly know,” said another towney, “but I reckon it’s gonna take all’s de sweet taters we got.”
So dem townies made about a brazillion sweet taters pies, and de pig set to eatin’ em.
After a few shakes’a de cattails by de lake, one’a dem townies said, “Kind’a hungry. Could go for some sweet taters pie muhself.”
“Can’t have none,” replied another townie. “We done used up all’a our sweet taters makin’ dem pies fer dat pig.”
Dat’s when dem townies got to thinkin’ bout ham. And sausage. And bacon.
“Guess we got no concerns over no dragons no more,” said one.
“Yeah, an’ wit all’a dat pie makin’, dees rollin’ pins done gave me blisters,” complained another.
“Sure am famished,” added one more.
De towneys, dey grabbed dey rollin’ pins and set on dat pig in a swarm. Now he was a big pig, and tougher’n just one dragon, but he waren’t no match for all dem towneys. Dey ate dey fill’a pork chops dat night.
Now right ‘bout dis time, dem next two pigs trotted up to another town, not knowin’ at all ‘bout de mis-happenins what befell dey mis-fortunate brother.
Dat second pig, he said, “I got a-grumbling in my gullet, gonna stop here for some chow.”
“Okey-dokey,” said de third pig, and he jes’ kept on trottin’ down de trail.
Dat second pig, he wandered in’a town, and he was met by de same sort’a reception as de first pig. All’a dem folk was fixin’ to carve him up for vittles when, Whoosh!, a dragon come down and slurp up a couple of ‘em like dey was extra buttered black-eyed peas. Once more, de dragon done skeedattled, once he seen dat garyuuuugean pig. Dem towneys, dey told de pig dey’d part with a mighty fine pile of fancy stuff if he could git dat dragon gone. And de second pig told ‘em, same as de first, he did’n want no puffery, just maybe eleventy sweet tater pies. But he was a bit more suspiciouser’n de first pig. He told ‘em he wanted dem pies first. Dragon huntin’ to come after. So de townfolk, dey baked him eleventy pies, and dat hog done hogged ‘em all down. He was happier’n a pig in….in….in eleventy pies. So after de pies were eat, dat pig, he trotted off to find de dragon. Sure ‘nough, he found ‘im, and de two’a dem took to it like a coupl’a ornery weasels stuffed in’a hat box full’a hot sauce.
Once de pig put dat dragon down in’a dirt, he trotted back to town, hopin’ for more sweet tater pie. But de townfolk were getting’ a bit hungry deyselfs right ‘bout den, bein’ as dey used up all’a dey sweet taters makin’ dem eleventy pies for piggie number two. So when dey saw dat pig, dey set on ‘em like a bullfrog on a one-winged dragonfly.
Dem towneys, dey was just settin’ down to a dinner’a pork belly and ribs when dat third pig trotted uppa de next town, unawares of de sad end that come’a piggie one and piggie two.
Now once more, dem townies come outta dey houses hankerin’ for some pork pies and shredded barb-b-que. And den another dragon come a-swoopin’ down, a-gobblin’ up folks like green beans fried up in fresh lard. Dat garyuuugean pig scared off dat dragon, an de townies come to dey senses wit an offer for da pig.
But dat third pig, he de smartest one yet. He tell ‘em, “Bake me up a three dozen’a dem sweet taters pies, and pack up one’a dem dozens in’a basket. Den I’ll take care a-dat dragon.”
Den he added, “An’ fix me four bits a machinery, all made’a concrete.”
“What ya need dem fer?” asked one’a dem townies.
“Well,” said de pig, “ain’t no deal no good no how, widdout dem four cement mechanisms.”
Dem townies couldn’a believed it. Dragon gone fer three dozen sweet taters pies and some cement mechanisms. Dey was wondrin’ whether dat pig might just run off wit de pies and pay no mind to dat dragon. But, dey figgered a few dozen pies ain’t much, so why not? So dey baked ‘em up, packed ‘em up, and give ‘em up to dat pig. De pig, he ate a dozen hisself. He left a dozen in de town, sayin’ “Don’ nobodoy touch dem pies nohow till I git back.”
Den he picked up dat basket’n he went a-huntin ‘round for dat dragon. Now when he found ‘em, de dragon come a-roarin’ and a-snortin’ outta his abbatoir like a nitro-fueled freight train. But dat pig, he did’n do nothin’ but set down dat basket’a pies.
Dat dragon smelled dem juicy sweet taters pies and stopped his jammerin’. He snuffled ‘bout de basket a bit. Den he took a gander at dat pig and asked, “What dem pies fer?”
“For you.” De pig told ‘em. “Maybe.”
“What you mean maybe?” said de dragon. “I’m’a eat up dem pies. Den I’m’a eat up you.”
“A-fore you eat nothin’, gotta promise you ain’t gonna eat no more’a dem townfolk.”
“Dat’s dummer’n a straight horseshoe. ‘Couse I’m’a gone’a eat me some more’a dem tasty townies when I git hungry agin.”
“You could do dat,” de pig ‘splained on, “but den I won’ bring you no more pies. An’ you ain’ eatin’ dees pies here neither how. Lessen you figgur’ you can squash a garyuuugeuan pig.”
Dat dragon, he thunk on it a stretch, den he asked, “What happens when I get hungry tomorrow?”
“Well,” said de pig, “I’m’a tell you what.” So de pig and de dragon chatted for a bit. An’ when dey’s done dey shook paws’n’claws.
After, de pig come a tottin’ back to town. De townies come out’a dey houses, an’ one’a dem asked, “You fix dat dragon?”
“Sure enough did.”
An’ once’t more dem townies got to thinkin’ bout how hungry dey was, an’ all dem future pork rinds an’ frankfurters was a-struttin’ bout de town. But when dey came for dat third pig, he stopped em an’ said. “Hold on there! What you you chasin’ me fer?”
“We’s hungry, and fixin’ to have us a pig roast!” dey shouted.
“Aww,” said de pig, “should’a said youse hungry. How bout some sweet taters pies?” An he pulled out dat last dozen, and de townies eat ‘em up. When dey done, dey warn’t so hungry no more, so dey git back to dey homes and sleep de night through.
Next day, dem townies come outta dey houses, thinkin’ bout bacon an’ scrapple and such. Dey turned on dat pig, and said, “We gonna’ have a little breakfast, an you ain’t got no more sweet taters pies.” Dey picked up dey rollin’ pins, an’ come toward dat pig all menanceful-like. But jes’ den, dat dragon come a-roarin down out’a de sky. He was bout to chomp down on a townie, when dat pig trotted up an warned, “Don’ do it.”
Dat dragon, he held back and did’n eat no one. Den de pig grunted all dangerous-like, an’ de dragon flew off.
Wit de dragon cleared out, de townies come back at dat pig. “Thought you said you took care’a dat dragon!” dey accused.
“Must’a been another dragon,” ‘splained de pig.
“Looked like de same dragon to me,” said one towney.
“Might’a been,” said de pig. “But same or different, you still got a dragon problem. Now, if’n y’all bake me up another 3 dozen pies, jes de same as’n yesterday, I can take care’a dat dragon again.”
De townies thunk on it fer a spell. Den, wit many’a grumble and much mutterin’ all irritated-like, dey took up dey rollin’ pins, baked up dem three dozen sweet taters pies, packed one up in a basket, and give ‘em to de pig.
And so, dat third garyuugean pig lived a happy life in dat town, chasin’ off dragons every mornin’, feastin’ on sweet taters pies for lunch, goin’ for pleasant hikes in de woods wit a basket’a pies every afternoon, and sharin’ some pies wit de townies every evenin’.
At least, until one day, dat dragon got a little tired’a pies. But dat’s a tale for another day…