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SQUINTY AND THE DOG

from Squinty The Comical Pig





Squinty was a little pig. You could tell he was a pig just as soon as
you looked at him, because he had the cutest little curly tail, as
though it wanted to tie itself into a bow, but was not quite sure
whether that was the right thing to do. And Squinty had a skin that was
as pink, under his white, hairy bristles, as a baby's toes.

Also Squinty had the oddest nose! It was just like a rubber ball,
flattened out, and when Squinty moved his nose up and down, or sideways,
as he did when he smelled the nice sour milk the farmer was bringing for
the pigs' dinner, why, when Squinty did that with his nose, it just made
you want to laugh right out loud.

But the funniest part of Squinty was his eyes, or, rather, one eye. And
that eye squinted just as well as any eye ever squinted. Somehow or
other, I don't just know why exactly, or I would tell you, the lid of
one of Squinty's eyes was heavier than the other. That eye opened only
half way, and when Squinty looked up at you from the pen, where he lived
with his mother and father and little brothers and sisters, why there
was such a comical look on Squinty's face that you wanted to laugh right
out loud again.

In fact, lots of boys and girls, when they came to look at Squinty in
his pen, could not help laughing when he peered up at them, with one eye
widely open, and the other half shut.

"Oh, what a comical pig!" the boys and girls would cry. "What is his
name?"

"Oh, I guess we'll call him Squinty," the farmer said; and so Squinty
was named.

Perhaps if his mother had had her way about it she would have given
Squinty another name, as she did his brothers and sisters. In fact she
did name all of them except Squinty.

One of the little pigs was named Wuff-Wuff, another Curly Tail, another
Squealer, another Wee-Wee, and another Puff-Ball. There were seven pigs
in all, and Squinty was the last one, so you see he came from quite a
large family. When his mother had named six of her little pigs she came
to Squinty.

"Let me see," grunted Mrs. Pig in her own way, for you know animals have
a language of their own which no one else can understand. "Let me see,"
said Mrs. Pig, "what shall I call you?"

She was thinking of naming him Floppy, because the lid of one of his
eyes sort of flopped down. But just then a lot of boys and girls came
running out to the pig pen.

The boys and girls had come on a visit to the farmer who owned the pigs,
and when they looked in, and saw big Mr. and Mrs. Pig, and the little
ones, one boy called out:

"Oh, what a queer little pig, with one eye partly open! And how funny he
looks at you! What is his name?"

"Well, I guess we'll call him Squinty," the farmer had said. And so,
just as I have told you, Squinty got his name.

"Humph! Squinty!" exclaimed Mrs. Pig, as she heard what the farmer said.
"I don't know as I like that."

"Oh, it will do very well," answered Mr. Pig. "It will save you thinking
up a name for him. And, after all, you know, he _does_ squint. Not that
it amounts to anything, in fact it is rather stylish, I think. Let him
be called Squinty."

"All right," answered Mrs. Pig. So Squinty it was.

"Hello, Squinty!" called the boys and girls, giving the little pig his
new name. "Hello, Squinty!"

"Wuff! Wuff!" grunted Squinty.

That meant, in his language, "Hello!" you see. For though Squinty, and
his mother and father, and brothers and sisters, could understand man
talk, and boy and girl talk, they could not speak that language
themselves, but had to talk in their own way.

Nearly all animals understand our talk, even though they can not speak
to us. Just look at a dog, for instance. When you call to him: "Come
here!" doesn't he come? Of course he does. And when you say: "Lie down,
sir!" doesn't he lie down? that is if he is a good dog, and minds? He
understands, anyhow.

And see how horses understand how to go when the driver says "Gid-dap!"
and how they stop when he says "Whoa!" So you need not think it strange
that a little pig could understand our kind of talk, though he could not
speak it himself.

Well, Squinty, the comical pig, lived with his mother and father and
brothers and sisters in the farmer's pen for some time. As the days went
on Squinty grew fatter and fatter, until his pink skin, under his white
bristles, was swelled out like a balloon.

"Hum!" exclaimed the farmer one day, as he leaned over the top of the
pen, to look down on the pigs, after he had poured their dinner into the
trough. "Hum! That little pig, with the squinty eye, is getting pretty
big. I thought he was going to be a little runt, but he seems to be
growing as fast as the others."

Squinty was glad when he heard that, for he wanted to grow up to be a
fine, large pig.

The farmer took a corn cob, from which all the yellow kernels of corn
had been shelled, and with it he scratched the back of Squinty. Pigs
like to have their backs scratched, just as cats like to have you rub
their smooth fur, or tickle them under the ears.

"Ugh! Ugh!" grunted Squinty, looking up at the farmer with his comical
eyes, one half shut and the other wide open. "Ugh! Ugh!" And with his
odd eyes, and one ear cocked forward, and the other flopping over
backward, Squinty looked so funny that the farmer had to laugh out loud.

"What's the matter, Rufus?" asked the farmer's wife, who was gathering
the eggs.

"Oh, it's this pig," laughed the farmer. "He has such a queer look on
his face!"

"Let me see!" exclaimed the farmer's wife.

She, too, looked down into the pen.

"Oh, isn't he comical!" she cried.

Then, being a very kind lady, and liking all the farm animals, the
farmer's wife went out in the potato patch and pulled up some pig weed.

This is a green weed that grows in the garden, but it does no good
there. Instead it does harm, and farmers like to pull it up to get rid
of it. But, if pig weed is no good for the garden, it is good for pigs,
and they like to chew the green leaves.

"Here, Squinty!" called the farmer's wife, tossing some of the juicy,
green weed to the little pig. "Eat this!"

"Ugh! Ugh!" grunted Squinty, and he began to chew the green leaves. I
suppose that was his way of saying: "Thank you!"

As soon as Squinty's brothers and sisters saw the green pig weed the
farmer's wife had tossed into the pen, up they rushed to the trough,
grunting and squealing, to get some too.

They pushed and scrambled, and even stepped into the trough, so eager
were they to get something to eat; even though they had been fed only a
little while before.

That is one strange thing about pigs. They seem to be always hungry. And
Squinty's brothers and sisters were no different from other pigs.

But wait just a moment. They were a bit different, for they were much
cleaner than many pigs I have seen. The farmer who owned them knew that
pigs do not like to live in mud and dirt any more than do cows and
horses, so this farmer had for his pigs a nice pen, with a dry board
floor, and plenty of corn husks for their bed. They had clean water to
drink, and a shady place in which to lie down and sleep.

Of course there was a mud bath in the pig pen, for, no matter how clean
pigs are, once in a while they like to roll in the mud. And I'll tell
you the reason for that.

You see flies and mosquitoes and other pests like to bite pigs. The pigs
know this, and they also know that if they roll in the mud, and get
covered with it, the mud will make a coating over them to keep the
biting flies away.

So that is why pigs like to roll in the mud once in awhile, just as you
sometimes see a circus elephant scatter dust over his back, to drive
away the flies. And even such a thick-skinned animal as a rhinoceros
likes to plaster himself with mud to keep away the insects.

But after Squinty and his brothers and sisters had rolled in the mud,
they were always glad when the farmer came with the garden hose and
washed them clean again, so their pink skins showed beneath their white,
hairy bristles.

Squinty and the other pigs grew until they were a nice size. They had
nothing to do but eat and sleep, and of course that will make anyone
grow.

Now Squinty, though he was not the largest of the family of pig
children, was by far the smartest. He learned more quickly than did his
brothers and sisters, how to run to the trough to eat, when his mother
called him, and he learned how to stand up against one side of the pen
and rub himself back and forth to scratch his side when a mosquito had
bitten him in a place he could not reach with his foot.

In fact Squinty was a little too smart. He wanted to do many things his
brothers and sisters never thought of. One day when Squinty and the
others had eaten their dinner, Squinty told his brother Wuff-Wuff that
he thought it would be a nice thing to have some fun.

Wuff-Wuff said he thought so, too, but he didn't just know what to do.
In fact there was not much one could do in a pig pen.

"If we could only get out of here!" grunted Squinty, as he looked out
through a crack in the boards and saw the green garden, where pig weed
was growing thickly.

"Yes, but we can't," said Wuff-Wuff.

Squinty was not so sure about this. In fact he was a very inquisitive
little pig--that is, he always wanted to find out about things, and why
this and that was so, and what made the wheels go around, and all like
that.

"I think I can get out through that place," said Squinty to himself, a
little later. He had found another crack between two boards of the
pen--a large crack, and one edge of the board was loose. Squinty began
to push with his rubbery nose.

A pig's nose is pretty strong, you know, for it is made for digging, or
rooting in the earth, to turn up acorns, and other good things to eat.

Squinty pushed and pushed on the board until he had made it very loose.
The crack was getting wider.

"Oh, I can surely get out!" he thought. He looked around; his mother and
father and all the little pigs were asleep in the shady part of the pen.

"I'm going!" said Squinty to himself.

He gave one extra hard push, and there he was through the big crack, and
outside the pen. It was the first time he had ever been out in his life.
At first he was a little frightened, but when he looked over into the
potato patch, and saw pig weed growing there he was happy.

"Oh, what a good meal I shall have!" grunted Squinty.

He ran toward a large bunch of the juicy, green pig weed, but before he
reached it he heard a dreadful noise.

"Bow wow! Bow wow! Bow wow!" went some animal, and then came some
growls, and the next moment Squinty saw, rushing toward him Don, the big
black and white dog of the farmer. "Bow wow! Bow wow! Bow wow!" barked
Don, and that meant, in his language: "Get back in your pen, Squinty!
What do you mean by coming out? Get back! Bow wow!"


white dog.]

"Oh dear! Oh dear!" squealed Squinty. "I shall be bitten sure! That dog
will bite me! Oh dear! Why didn't I stay in the pen?"

Squinty turned on his little short legs, as quickly as he could, and
started back for the pen. But it was not easy to run in a potato field,
and Squinty, not having lived in the woods and fields as do some pigs,
was not a very good runner.

"Bow wow! Bow wow!" barked Don, running after Squinty.

I do not believe Don really meant to hurt the comical little pig. In
fact I know he did not, for Don was very kind-hearted. But Don knew that
the pigs were supposed to stay in their pen, and not come out to root up
the garden. So Don barked:

"Bow wow! Bow wow! Get back where you belong, Squinty."

Squinty ran as fast as he could, but Don ran faster. Squinty caught his
foot in a melon vine, and down he went. Before he could get up Don was
close to him, and, the next moment Squinty felt his ear being taken
between Don's strong, white teeth.

"Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!" squealed Squinty, in his own queer, pig
language. "What is going to happen to me?"





Next: SQUINTY RUNS AWAY




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