I had the recent great
fortune of visiting a creature
rotund and pink whose late
distant cousins had died of a feature
common to swine. She draws
for a living on the island of T____
and lives in a house made of straws,
not a stick or a stone could I see,
and I wondered what nature of pig
would invite such a one as I am
to a weekend of custard and fig
when she knows I am fonder of ham.
“Mr. Wolf, I am pleased. You are welcome
indeed to look around and rest some.”
Our opening moments were tense
for the island resides in a sea
known for storms, and the pretense
of friendship, given that me
and her kind have a past
was a strain to maintain.
“It’s a pleasure, Ms. Piggie, at last.”
To view me better, she drew back the curtain.
“I thought you’d be larger,” she said, “more
of a brute, but these are hard times,
no doubt, for lupines seeking to score
like you did in meatier climes.
I’ve a favour to ask, and you are my man.”
I licked my dry chops. “I shall do what I can.”
“This house that I built of last straws
for many a year has kept me, not warm
but apart and alive, now its flaws
like mad locusts are starting to swarm.
I’ve plans to invest with some camels
I know, whose backs have been broken
from too heavy loads. Their annals,
I’m sure, you have read if not spoken
of. Time has restored them, they’re spry
as young foals, and I’ve no need
of anyone’s judgmental eye.
Happiness is picking up speed
turning deserts to green,
and I do not see myself as unclean.”
Though at first I resisted her porcine
request, I came to oblige. I waited until
her ship had sailed off, streamlined
and sleek, then I worked up the will
that, of late, had grown weak from the shame,
self-inflicted, of the nature of me, and I rose
to the heights of the Alpha Omega, the game
we had come here to play…I suppose
there are bits of her house of last
straws still blowing about and landing
on backs overstrained, but my friend, she’s cast
her cares to the sea of pure understanding.
From here, I am off to dance with some belles
on a veldt. I’ve a taste, as you know, for gazelles.
Thank you, NS!
© Elaine Stirling, 2013