There was once a Pig who was absolutely not as happy as a pig in s---!
He lived with a lot of other pigs that obviously were as happy as pigs allegedly are when living in that substance, whereas he couldn’t even bring himself to allow such an offensive word to besmirch his piggy lips, let alone feel happy about it.
While other pigs lived in sties that were messy and mucky and conducive to average pig-happiness, the Pig with whom we are concerned was prim and proper and kept his sty in astonishingly prissy and pristine condition.
He was, incidentally, also the only pig on the farm who had a corner of his sty designated as what his American cousins would call ‘The Restroom’.
His sty was so clean that, as the saying goes, you could have eaten your meal off the floor - which is exactly what he did everyday when the Farmer upturned a battered swill-bucket all over the neat little yard to the Pig’s neat little home.
The moment he had finished his meal, the Pig felt obligated to spend the next several hours cleaning and tidying-up.
Every few days, the Pig would notice that one or two of his neighbours were led away from their sties and never came back.
“That’s what happens,” he said to himself, “when you don’t keep your sty spick and span! You get your marching - or, I suppose I should say, ‘trotting’ - orders!” Then with a smug laugh he went to check that everything in his sty was just as it should be.
And so he went on for a long time, never allowing so much as an apple-core or a potato peeling to litter his home; priding himself on what a clean pig he was and how he found true happiness by not allowing his living standards to drop to the excremental levels of his peers.
Then, one day, the Farmer came to his sty, tied a rope around his neck and led him away.
At first, the Pig was confused and wondered whether he had, perhaps, slipped up somehow: overlooking, perhaps, a stale crust or two or a piece of pumpkin rind…
But then, knowing that that was a total impossibility, he decided that, on the contrary, he was being moved to more palatial accommodation as a reward for his impeccable manners and behaviour.
Alas, however, that was not the case and it was only as he got his first glimpse of the great gleaming Sausage-Making Machine that he knew that not only were his days of happiness truly at an end, but that he was now - like it or lump it - in the s***!
© Brian Sibley 2007