SQUINTY AND THE DOG





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?"





SQUINTY AND THE BOY. SQUINTY AND THE MERRY MONKEY facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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