This story has just won an award at the Oklahoma Write’s Federation in the “Prose Humor” category!
(I spend much of my days, Monday through Friday, with an adorable preschooler who loves singing nursery rhymes. When asked to do a creative writing assignment concerning one character that wants to leave and one that wants to stay this story came readily to my creative writer’s mind.)
Hey diddle, diddle, the day started out like so many others. The sun shone over London Bridge and all seemed right with the world. Then I walked into the kitchen and saw that the cupboards were bare. I couldn’t even find the poor dog a bone.
So, I went to locate Agatha, sitting in the parlor eating bread and honey, and said to her, “How about the two of us go to the market to buy some slop or something? I mean, Caradoc over there is eating roast beef, but Digory, poor piglet, has none.”
So what did my beloved wife do? She got this pained expression on her face. You know the kind I’m talking about, where her ears turned down at the ends while she shoved her snout up toward the sky.
I really hate when she does that.
“I’m tired,” Agatha grunted. “and my hooves are killing me!”
So now it was my turn to give her the look. “You know, Aggie that was not the deal we made when we built this house of bricks. We promised to share all the chores.”
So she sat up straight and turned those beady, black eyes on me. The ones that used to make me quiver, but now they make me shiver. And she said to me, “I have had a really terrible day. You remember those four and twenty black birds? Well, I tried to bake them in a pie. But when the pie was open the birds began to sing, the wretched things.”
Agatha trembled as she pointed toward the fence that leads to outside. “One of the black devils,” she sniffled. “attacked Freda while she stood in the garden hanging out the clothes, for goodness sake.”
Then a loud snort blew from her snout in this pitiful, annoying sort of way. “Oh, Balthazar,” she wailed, “I ended up calling in the village doctor. And you know how queasy it makes me feel when he drags out those nasty leaches. Call me piggyunish, but I don’t see how letting the little suckers chew on poor Freda’s back helps get her nose back on her face.”
All the while Aggie was oink, oink, oinking at me I thought, what’s she gonna say next? That the cow jumped over the moon?
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our little dog laugh. And then I cringed because Aggie got this gleam in her eyes. I mean she looked absolutely blissful.
“Balthie, dear,” she began ever-so-sweetly. “you could take Emrys. He loves going anywhere with you.”
And you don’t? I wanted to squeal. I may be a boar, but that last comment got me right in the pork ribs. I could feel this deep frown wrinkling my brow as I shoved my fists on each side of my shank.
“I love our youngest son, I do. But the way he always has to shout… I, well, I’ll be perfectly honest, Agatha, after a while, it starts to get on my last nerve. I don’t understand why he can’t just sit in the cart and sing a song of six pence instead…”
So, to make a long story short, I went to the counting house to count out some money and ended up taking the youngest piglet with me. We were so hungry by the time we got to the bazaar that we ended up buying out half the vegetable, fruit and flower stands. I bypassed the poultry stalls though. I wasn’t about to buy any more of those confounded black birds.
Personally, I enjoy a good prickly thistle. Just love the way it tickles my throat all the way down.
When we got home, Agatha was asleep in our little corner of the sty. She looked so darn cute and tasty with her curly tail tucked under that I didn’t even mind that the memory of Emrys’ tinny voice still squealed in my ears. “Wee, wee, wee…” all the friggin’ way home.
Copyright by Ledia Runnels 2012
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