A haggard, bearded man shuffled down the packed-earth street in the twilight toward his abode. It was an old, but not too shabby, house in an unkempt yard inside the fence of which lived a single pig. The man himself, a citizen by the name of John, had only been living for twenty-seven years, but none of them had been very kind. As he slipped through the gate, he reflected on the events that had occurred today.
Starting the day off on a low note, breakfast had consisted of a measly old loaf of bread. It was the last thing remaining in his kitchen, so he left to go to town immediately after breakfast. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find any money in the house and would have to find work. This was no easy prospect as he was too lazy to find a job that was easy but payed well. After saying goodbye to his pet pig, Bob, he put on his tallest hat and went off to find work.
His hats were the result of a failed attempt at a hat making business. It was the one thing he could do without getting bored, but no one wanted to buy any of them. His tallest hat was an impressive two feet tall, made of light green fabric, and reinforced to make it stand up smartly in a perfect cylinder. He was quite proud of it and always wore it whenever he went into town.
Entering the town square, he began looking for “help wanted” posters. First was a roofing job. He didn’t even look at the roofs in the town before turning it down. The rest of the day continued in a similar fashion except when people occasionally asked him to watch something for them while they were busy somewhere else. By the end of the day, he had acquired enough money to buy dinner for that night and nothing else.
Sitting down at his table, he reflected on what he would do tomorrow. The only foreseeable course of action was to eat Bob the pig for breakfast. He didn’t want to, but that was the only food available to him. With these thoughts filling his head he finished dinner and went to sleep.
It was a dark and stormy night. Late into the morning, John finally woke up. The sun was shining and the grass was green. Looking out at his yard he noted that the rain had brought the grass to a single, beautiful shade of green with not a blemish on it. Not even a pink one.
“Wait a second,” John, still half asleep, mumbled, “Pigs aren’t green.”
It was true. Normally, Bob the pig would be out rooting around or lounging in a self-made mudhole, but today, he was nowhere to be seen. When John checked the pighouse, he wasn’t there either. Finally, John threw his head back in exasperation and found him. Bob was sitting on the roof with what looked like a pig’s version of a grin on his face. John’s eyes widened.
“What are you doing up there?” he exclaimed.
Bob just grunted, unfurled a pair of graceful, white, feathered wings, and glided down to the ground. John’s jaw, meanwhile, was busy trying to lodge itself in the ground. He could absolutely not believe what he was seeing.
Bob on the other hand was quite happy about his gift. Since he had been too fat to even jump before, the magic wings were a very welcome gift. What he couldn’t tell John was how he got them. During the storm last night, a lightning bolt had struck him. Instead of turning him into a heap of overcooked bacon, however, it had given him a pair of beautiful wings.
Suddenly, John had an incredible idea. Instead of eating Bob, he could sell him to someone else. A winged pig is sure to be valuable, he thought. Reentering his house, he plucked his “going to town” hat off the rack. The moment he picked it up, it flopped over halfway. He stared at his floppy hat for a few seconds, then at the ceiling, then at his damp hat again.
“A leak,” John groaned. “My best hat ruined by a leak.” He paused. “I suppose I’ll have to use my other hat.”
Next on the hat rack was a shorter, conical hat. It was made of a thicker material but was slightly more floppy. In contrast to the light green of his first hat, this one was a dark shade of blue. Donning it, he grabbed a long rope to use as Bob’s leash, and they headed off to town.
That morning a hungry bear was on the prowl. It had raided one of the farms and was terrorizing the surrounding countryside. The farmer who had seen it and tried, unsuccessfully of course, to stop it described it as an enormous monster. Naturally, he had gone to the village to ask the villagers for help, who in turn called upon the local knight.
Sir Lancelittle was an impatient man who had been assigned there against his will. Although the pay was good and the town was peaceful, he hailed from the mountains of the north and found the weather too hot for his liking. Nevertheless, since King Loganberry had ordered him to stay there, he lived in a small tower north of the city.
Pleased to have some action at last, Sir Lancelittle grabbed his gear and headed to the east where the bear had last been spotted. The bear was continuing its rampage through the outskirts of town. Meanwhile, John, who was oblivious to these events, was taking the east road into town because he lived a few miles away.
Because the bear had stopped to quietly take a nap by the roadside, Bob noticed it first. Suddenly, it heard them and woke up. Roaring from the bushes, it suddenly charged them. Faced with a nine foot tall mass of fur and teeth, John dropped the rope and took off into the woods. Bob also took off into the woods, but he had a plan. Fortunately for him, John had not tied the loop around his head very tight, and Bob was able to get it off his head quickly. Flying off after the bear, who was chasing John, Bob readied the loop.
The bear was galloping after John when it felt something slip over its head. It also smelled pig. As pig tasted much better than human, he stopped to look around for it. After a few seconds, it finally dropped into view on a pair of wings. Naturally, the hungry creature thought nothing of it and lunged angrily. He began to wonder why the pig had wings when he was stopped short by a rope around his neck.
John heard the bear stop. He turned to see the bear tied to the tree with Bob’s leash. Bob was sitting on the tree branch above the bear with that pig grin on his face again. John realized that Bob must have tied the bear up himself.
“Well, if he can fly, why shouldn’t he be able to string bears up?” John muttered to himself.
There was a flurry of noise and an armored man rode up.
“Did you do this?” he asked, looking at the tied up bear.
John looked at the bear first, then at his pig. “I suppose.”
“Perfect,” continued the knight, who John had recognized as Sir Lancelittle. “I have grown weary of guarding this town and long for the hills of the north where I grew up. If you agree to it, I can convince the king to make you the guardian of this place.”
“That sounds like a lot of work,” faltered John.
“Not at all. Nothing more eventful than this has ever happened, and you handled it just fine on your own. With the disparity between paycheck and workload, it’s a very undemanding job.”
The last sentence intrigued John the most. Without any more arguing, he accepted the proposition.
Two weeks later, John sat in his new house eating breakfast. After meeting with the king, Lancelittle was freed from guard duty of the town. John, meanwhile, was knighted and took the job in his place; around town he was known now as Sir John of the Flying Pig. Naturally, the better pay meant better food, and John was eating a lavish breakfast of egg with steak instead of bacon. The house was equipped with everything John could imagine, plus some things he would have never thought of. The main thing Bob cared about was that he could go everywhere he wanted to. While John enjoyed the delicious foods and lavish amenities, Bob explored and protected the town as the free pig he always wanted to be.