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The Three Little Pigs

from The Green Fairy Book





There was once upon a time a pig who lived with her three children
on a large, comfortable, old-fashioned farmyard. The eldest of the
little pigs was called Browny, the second Whitey, and the youngest
and best looking Blacky. Now Browny was a very dirty little pig,
and I am sorry to say spent most of his time rolling and wallowing
about in the mud. He was never so happy as on a wet day, when the
mud in the farmyard got soft, and thick, and slab. Then he would
steal away from his mother's side, and finding the muddiest place
in the yard, would roll about in it and thoroughly enjoy himself.
His mother often found fault with him for this, and would shake
her head sadly and say: 'Ah, Browny! some day you will be sorry
that you did not obey your old mother.' But no words of advice or
warning could cure Browny of his bad habits.

Whitey was quite a clever little pig, but she was greedy. She was
always thinking of her food, and looking forward to her dinner;
and when the farm girl was seen carrying the pails across the
yard, she would rise up on her hind legs and dance and caper with
excitement. As soon as the food was poured into the trough she
jostled Blacky and Browny out of the way in her eagerness to get
the best and biggest bits for herself. Her mother often scolded
her for her selfishness, and told her that some day she would
suffer for being so greedy and grabbing.

Blacky was a good, nice little pig, neither dirty nor greedy. He
had nice dainty ways (for a pig), and his skin was always as
smooth and shining as black satin. He was much cleverer than
Browny and Whitey, and his mother's heart used to swell with pride
when she heard the farmer's friends say to each other that some
day the little black fellow would be a prize pig.

Now the time came when the mother pig felt old and feeble and near
her end. One day she called the three little pigs round her and
said:

'My children, I feel that I am growing odd and weak, and that I
shall not live long. Before I die I should like to build a house
for each of you, as this dear old sty in which we have lived so
happily will be given to a new family of pigs, and you will have
to turn out. Now, Browny, what sort of a house would you like to
have?'

'A house of mud,' replied Browny, looking longingly at a wet
puddle in the corner of the yard.

'And you, Whitey?' said the mother pig in rather a sad voice, for
she was disappointed that Browny had made so foolish a choice.

'A house of cabbage,' answered Whitey, with a mouth full, and
scarcely raising her snout out of the trough in which she was
grubbing for some potato-parings.

'Foolish, foolish child!' said the mother pig, looking quite
distressed. 'And you, Blacky?' turning to her youngest son, 'what
sort of a house shall I order for you?'

'A house of brick, please mother, as it will be warm in winter,
and cool in summer, and safe all the year round.'

'That is a sensible little pig,' replied his mother, looking
fondly at him. 'I will see that the three houses are got ready at
once. And now one last piece of advice. You have heard me talk of
our old enemy the fox. When he hears that I am dead, he is sure to
try and get hold of you, to carry you off to his den. He is very
sly and will no doubt disguise himself, and pretend to be a
friend, but you must promise me not to let him enter your houses
on any pretext whatever.'

And the little pigs readily promised, for they had always had a
great fear of the fox, of whom they had heard many terrible tales.
A short time afterwards the old pig died, and the little pigs went
to live in their own houses.

Browny was quite delighted with his soft mud walls and with the
clay floor, which soon looked like nothing but a big mud pie. But
that was what Browny enjoyed, and he was as happy as possible,
rolling about all day and making himself in such a mess. One day,
as he was lying half asleep in the mud, he heard a soft knock at
his door, and a gentle voice said:

'May I come in, Master Browny? I want to see your beautiful new
house.'

'Who are you?' said Browny, starting up in great fright, for
though the voice sounded gentle, he felt sure it was a feigned
voice, and he feared it was the fox.

'I am a friend come to call on you,' answered the voice.

'No, no,' replied Browny, 'I don't believe you are a friend. You
are the wicked fox, against whom our mother warned us. I won't let
you in.'

'Oho! is that the way you answer me?' said the fox, speaking very
roughly in his natural voice. 'We shall soon see who is master
here,' and with his paws he set to work and scraped a large hole
in the soft mud walls. A moment later he had jumped through it,
and catching Browny by the neck, flung him on his shoulders and
trotted off with him to his den.

The next day, as Whitey was munching a few leaves of cabbage out
of the corner of her house, the fox stole up to her door,
determined to carry her off to join her brother in his den. He
began speaking to her in the same feigned gentle voice in which he
had spoken to Browny; but it frightened her very much when he
said:

'I am a friend come to visit you, and to have some of your good
cabbage for my dinner.'

'Please don't touch it,' cried Whitey in great distress. 'The
cabbages are the walls of my house, and if you eat them you will
make a hole, and the wind and rain will come in and give me a
cold. Do go away; I am sure you are not a friend, but our wicked
enemy the fox.' And poor Whitey began to whine and to whimper, and
to wish that she had not been such a greedy little pig, and had
chosen a more solid material than cabbages for her house. But it
was too late now, and in another minute the fox had eaten his way
through the cabbage walls, and had caught the trembling, shivering
Whitey, and carried her off to his den.

The next day the fox started off for Blacky's house, because he
had made up his mind that he would get the three little pigs
together in his den, and then kill them, and invite all his
friends to a feast. But when he reached the brick house, he found
that the door was bolted and barred, so in his sly manner he
began, 'Do let me in, dear Blacky. I have brought you a present of
some eggs that I picked up in a farmyard on my way here.'

'No, no, Mister Fox,' replied Blacky, 'I am not going to open my
door to you. I know your cunning ways. You have carried off poor
Browny and Whitey, but you are not going to get me.'

At this the fox was so angry that he dashed with all his force
against the wall, and tried to knock it down. But it was too
strong and well-built; and though the fox scraped and tore at the
bricks with his paws he only hurt himself, and at last he had to
give it up, and limp away with his fore-paws all bleeding and
sore.

'Never mind!' he cried angrily as he went off, 'I'll catch you
another day, see if I don't, and won't I grind your bones to
powder when I have got you in my den!' and he snarled fiercely and
showed his teeth.

Next day Blacky had to go into the neighbouring town to do some
marketing and to buy a big kettle. As he was walking home with it
slung over his shoulder, he heard a sound of steps stealthily
creeping after him. For a moment his heart stood still with fear,
and then a happy thought came to him. He had just reached the top
of a hill, and could see his own little house nestling at the foot
of it among the trees. In a moment he had snatched the lid off the
kettle and had jumped in himself. Coiling himself round he lay
quite snug in the bottom of the kettle, while with his fore-leg he
managed to put the lid on, so that he was entirely hidden. With a
little kick from the inside he started the kettle off, and down
the hill it rolled full tilt; and when the fox came up, all that
he saw was a large black kettle spinning over the ground at a
great pace. Very much disappointed, he was just going to turn
away, when he saw the kettle stop close to the little brick house,
and in a moment later Blacky jumped out of it and escaped with the
kettle into the house, when he barred and bolted the door, and put
the shutter up over the window.

'Oho!' exclaimed the fox to himself, 'you think you will escape me
that way, do you? We shall soon see about that, my friend,' and
very quietly and stealthily he prowled round the house looking for
some way to climb on to the roof.

In the meantime Blacky had filled the kettle with water, and
having put it on the fire, sat down quietly waiting for it to
boil. Just as the kettle was beginning to sing, and steam to come
out of the spout, he heard a sound like a soft, muffled step,
patter, patter, patter overhead, and the next moment the fox's
head and fore-paws were seen coming down the chimney. But Blacky
very wisely had not put the lid on the kettle, and, with a yelp of
pain, the fox fell into the boiling water, and before he could
escape, Blacky had popped the lid on, and the fox was scalded to
death.

As soon as he was sure that their wicked enemy was really dead,
and could do them no further harm, Blacky started off to rescue
Browny and Whitey. As he approached the den he heard piteous
grunts and squeals from his poor little brother and sister who
lived in constant terror of the fox killing and eating them. But
when they saw Blacky appear at the entrance to the den their joy
knew no bounds. He quickly found a sharp stone and cut the cords
by which they were tied to a stake in the ground, and then all
three started off together for Blacky's house, where they lived
happily ever after; and Browny quite gave up rolling in the mud,
and Whitey ceased to be greedy, for they never forgot how nearly
these faults had brought them to an untimely end.





Next: Heart Of Ice

Previous: Prince Featherhead And The Princess Celandine



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