The Three Little Pigs

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This is a slight enhancement of the well-known fairy tale. Three playful pigs each build a house in the meadow. Two of them don’t feel like putting much effort into it, simply wanting the task to be achieved as soon as possible, while the other brother works hard and long to construct a sturdy house. Naturally, the hungry wolf exploits the laziness of the two careless pigs…

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The Three Little Pigs
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Once upon a time, there were three piglets named Dip, Tip, and Pip. Dip was the eldest and the most responsible one. His parents had raised him to look after his more careless younger brothers, who would play in the meadow all day long without a care in the world. Dip liked to play too, of course, but sometimes he also had to do grown-up tasks.

Since birth, Dip had had a black spot around his left eye. Tip and Pip would always tease him about it. They’d ask him if he had forgotten to wash his face in the morning, telling him that his eye looked dirty. This would upset Dip, especially because he actually made sure to wash properly in order to set a good example for his brothers.

Dip was also very wise and liked to teach his brothers things. But Tip and Pip hated having lessons from their brother. Whenever they didn’t feel like listening to him preach, they would start giggling and point at Dip’s spot. This usually led to a chase, which was exactly what Tip and Pip wanted. Since Dip was bigger and heavier, the youngsters could run faster than him — plus they could easily hear his loud stomps coming from behind when he was chasing them.

Tip, the middle brother, was a little naughty. He liked to drag Pip into games and adventures that he had thought up. He disliked doing chores and didn’t really enjoy learning. He often wondered whether he really needed to grow-up at all. Pip had a hard time listening to his older brother or to his parents. None of them knew what to do about it. Tip was aware that he was supposed to listen to his elders and do as he was told, but sometimes a new adventure was just too good to resist!

Pip, the youngest, was no better than Tip. Sunbathing lazily in the grass was what he enjoyed most, along with whistling his favourite tune and watching the clouds float across the sky. He loved playing hide-and-seek but his parents banned that game long ago because Pip tended to wander into the forest to hide — which wasn’t safe because a big hungry wolf lived there. His parents had already saved Pip from the wolf so many times that one day they simply decided to stop letting the piglets play hide-and-seek.

The wolf was very cunning though. He spent his days scheming up new ways to catch the piglets. His mouth watered whenever he imagined the delicious dinners he would make out of them. But it wasn’t easy for him to achieve this. The wolf had since learnt a few harsh lessons from the shepherd who lived down the road — he had recently given the wolf a good beating when he tried to take one of his sheep. His flock stayed together, as close to the shepherd’s hut as they could, and whenever there was any danger they would start bleating as loudly as possible to wake the shepherd up. It proved to be an effective safeguard.

Time passed, and Dip, Tip, and Pip grew up fast. Their family home started feeling rather crowded with all five of them living there, so one day their parents told them it was time they moved out.

“You are old enough now,” their father said. “It’s time for you to build your own houses.”

The eldest, Dip, nodded in agreement and wasted no time in getting started. He thought everything through. He made plans and preparations, exactly as his parents had taught him to do. “Any task you undertake must be done properly,” they had always told the piglets.

Dip decided that the most sensible building material to use would be brick, even though a brick house was difficult to construct and took longer. He chose to build his house in the meadow, at a good distance from the forest. Even so, when construction started, the whole forest could hear the banging and knocking that came from the building site.

In contrast, Tip and Pip didn’t feel like putting so much effort into building their houses, because that would leave hardly any time for fun!

Tip, the middle brother, chose a nearby location in the meadow, and decided to build his house out of wood. There was enough wood in the forest, he thought, and he wouldn’t need to work too hard.

The youngest brother, Pip, was even lazier. He would build his house in the same meadow, but he decided to make it out of straw. Planning things or thinking too hard wasn’t really for him, so Pip just took some dry twigs he found next to the forest and stuck them into the ground to make a frame. Then he grabbed some straw that was lying around and flung it over the sticks. He was quite proud of his house, as the work was easy and it was finished in no time.

When Tip saw that Pip was done building his house, he shouted over to him: “Wait a minute, Pip! I only need to put the door on my place and then we’ll finally be able to play!” Tip quickly hammered-in a few nails to hold the door in position, which worked, even though the door was wonky and made horrible squeaking sounds when opening and closing.

Later, while Tip and Pip were playing in the meadow, Dip was busy putting the finishing touches on his brick house. As usual, his brothers teased him and tried to persuade him to stop working and come play with them.

“Why do you even need a brick house?” asked Tip.

“Why don’t you just come and play? You don’t need to work so hard!” shouted Pip from across the meadow.

But Dip would not let himself be distracted. He knew that he wanted a nice brick house and he was willing to put in the effort to construct it.

It was the end of the day before Dip’s house was completely finished, at which time he trotted off to play with his brothers in the meadow. They had no idea that the big bad wolf had been watching them the whole time. The wolf didn’t dare to approach the sheep at the shepherd’s hut any more — he was still sore from when the shepherd had beaten him.

But he was incredibly hungry and wasn’t willing to only eat berries. His mouth watered as he watched the plump pigs running around. He couldn’t wait a second longer — he sprinted out of the forest, straight at them! The three pigs immediately scattered, each running to their house to hide.

Pip dived into his straw hut, scared to death. A moment later, the wolf came sniffing around. Through the walls, Pip could hear him breathing. And then the wolf took a deep breath and started to blow. The straw and most of the twigs went flying in all directions, leaving only a few sticks standing.

“Gotcha! Haha! You can’t escape me!” shouted the wolf, gleefully.

Pip didn’t wait for the wolf to grab him — he darted across the meadow, running as fast as he could to Tip’s house.

“Come-on Pip, hurry!” Tip shouted from the doorstep.

Pip just barely made it inside safely. They slammed the door in the nick of time. The wolf circled the house for a while, trying to find a way in. His stomach rumbled as loudly as a thunderstorm as he pictured the pigs on his dinner plate.

He took a deep, deep breath and blew extra hard at the wooden house. But the house didn’t budge.

The pigs sighed with relief and shouted: “Go away, wolf! You can’t get us! This house is strong and it won’t fall down, no matter how hard you blow!”

But it was not long before the wolf noticed that the door was crooked. In fact, it was barely hanging on its hinges! Tip had done a very poor job of installing that door — the nails weren’t even properly hammered in! The wolf put on a sly smile and charged. Bang! The door smashed to bits.

“Gotcha! You won’t escape me this time!” cried the wolf.

Pip and Tip ran at lightning-fast speed to Dip’s house.

“Help us! Save us!” they shouted as they ran. All the while, Dip had been anxiously watching out of the window.

“Come-on you two, hurry up!!” he called out.

Tip and Pip made it inside and slammed the door. Pip locked it behind them and peeked out of the window. The wolf walked in circles around the house. He wanted to get in there so badly — he was starving by now, so hungry he could hardly see. In desperation, he took the deepest breath he could muster and blew at the brick house. But the house didn’t budge.

The three pigs sighed with relief and then shouted: “Go away, wolf! You have no chance of getting in. This house is never going to fall down. You can blow as hard as you like!”

The wolf thought hard about what to do. The door was firmly positioned and he couldn’t see any way to dislodge it, but in spite of this he ran at it and hit it with all his might. Bang!

“Ow, ow, that hurts!” he whined.

He sat on the ground, disgruntled, his shoulder aching, and tried to think of another way to get in. Then he noticed the chimney and realised that that would be his best chance. “They have no way of closing the chimney!” he thought. “I’ll climb onto the roof and slide down it, right into the house.”

When the pigs saw what the wolf was doing, they became frightened. They hadn’t thought about this option.

“What are we going to do?” asked Pip. “The wolf’s going to enter through the chimney and eat us all!”

Dip was scared, but he pulled himself together. He put some wood in the fireplace and swiftly lit a fire. At this point, the wolf was already halfway down the chimney. But when the thick smoke started rising, he became stuck.

“Help, help!” whimpered the wolf.

As a result of the chimney flue being blocked, the pressure built up. Suddenly there was a giant bang, as if a cannon had been fired. The wolf came flying out of the chimney like a cannonball and landed far away, all tangled up in the prickly brambles at the edge of the forest. The three pigs could finally relax. After sitting in astonishment for a minute or two, they started laughing. They felt like celebrating their escape from the jaws of the wolf.

“The two of you need to build proper houses now!” said Dip in his sternest voice.

Tip and Pip agreed without hesitation. There would be plenty of time to play later! They’d learned first-hand how dangerous it can be to do fast and sloppy work. The two brothers asked Dip to teach them how to construct a strong house. And Dip gladly did so. Eventually, all three of them had fine, sturdy homes.

For the rest of their lives, the three pigs lived safely and happily in their houses in the meadow, and the big bad wolf never bothered them again.

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