In all fairness, no pig large enough to construct a house could be a “little” meal for anyone, even a particularly large and voracious Wolf. However, on doing some quick math, “How many pounds does the average pig weigh?” divided by “How much can a wolf eat at one time?” equals “oh, dear, that’s a lot of meals, and frankly, the metaphysics of this story now require that the wolf have access to both refrigeration, and several dinner guests, and I think this calculation just became impossible”. For those of you who prefer mathematical accuracy, please feel free to pretend that the title of this piece is ‘The Three Little Pigs Who Became So Many Meals That Eventually the Wolf Got Tired Of Eating Bacon’, or alternately, you could just say):
Once upon a time there were three little pigs who were too stupid to live.
I don’t mean that as an insult. I mean that as a statement of fact. I’m talking about the little pigs—you know of them—who primarily built their houses out of sticks or straw. Sure, it requires an unusually intelligent pig to build a house out of human materials, and sure, one of the three pigs built a house out of brick somehow, but that doesn’t really matter here. The so-called “smart” pig still let the other two build their stupid houses. It was either unwilling, unable, or simply too unintelligent itself to point out that this was a terrible and probably fatal idea; in any of these cases, nobody porcine comes out of this looking good here.
And sure, they escaped from the Big Bad Wolf. That particular wolf. That particular time. And yeah, somebody spray-painted “Happily Ever After” at the end of that story, like it meant something. And it did. Do you know what said thing is? I’ll tell you: the narrative knew it had to escape fast, before reason set in.
I don’t care that this is a universe where pigs build houses and wolves talk. I’ve lived weirder universes out here in meatspace. Finding them inside a story’s hardly disconcerting in and of itself.
But if you’re going to give us that much room to play with, then please be aware that this will also be a universe where crocodiles walk upright and they, too, can speak. And they, too, are hungry. And they surely are not alone.
Assume the simple passage of time. Assume, for the sake of argument, the pig who built the brick house is actually smart. Whether we assume that the wolf who jumped down the chimney was an idiot lupine, or that she was typical of wolves of that world, she was still generally smarter than those pigs. (Oh, messing with the brick house was a bad idea, but by then, it was the Sunk Cost Fallacy. You ever do two things in a row that should work, and end up doing a stupid third thing because you’re invested? I sure have.
(And personally, I feel like somebody tampered with that particular ending. Pigs who do human construction work and wolves who converse with their prey and (for that matter) attack things with some kind of heavy breathing, rather than their (incredibly powerful) jaws? Okay, I’ll believe that, if you really want me to. Beings capable of knowing what a chimney is, but who don’t check to see if it’s really hot inside before leaping in? That’s just…that’s just counterintuitive, is what that is.
All right. Assume the pigs had Offspring, as pigs tend to do. Assume that the Wolf (or similar wolves) and the Crocodiles and the Jabberwocks of that world also had offspring. (Unless all of them were, themselves, prone to jumping directly into fires, in which case, this world has a terrible mythological ecosystem.)
(And remember, the old cartoon rule of “Kill all the things that eat the cute animals” would, if applied reasonably, start with homo sapiens. Also, “cute” doesn’t imply either “good” or “defenseless”; if you’re not aware of all of the adorable animals in our world which could kill you, I recommend either reading up on it, or smooching an adorable blue-ringed octopus, or a nice poison dart frog (would you like to guess how they got their name?)
Right then. So the pigs have Offspring, and we (quite reasonably) assume some of those Offspring are product of whatever combination of genetics and upbringing would nspire some idiot to build a house out of straw.
Now just add time.
And eventually, we arrive at a logical conclusion.
This is the story of some pigs who are clearly going to provide dinner for predators. And this is a world where predatory animals eat very well.
It’s also a world where we get a glimpse of one brick house and watch one wolf foolishly go down (of all things) an active chimney (wouldn’t the smoke have been a warning? Research suggests that some variants of the story have the brick-building pig put a kettle on the fire, and rather than fall straight into the fire, our toothy friend fell into the boiling water, which leads us to questions like, “Wait, HOW quickly does water boil in your world, WHY would a wolf not be able to jump OUT of a bunch of water EVEN if it was very hot and JUST WHAT KIND OF MONSTROUS CANNIBAL BEING HAPPENS TO HAVE A KETTLE AND/OR POT LARGE ENOUGH TO COOK A FRICKIN’ WOLF, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE?”…but I digress.)
Okay. Let’s say that somehow, this particular scene really did finish up that way. Whoever put the happy ending there is, at best, delusional. All it does is pull us away from the story before we can see its natural conclusions, and before we can (perhaps) tell further stories which might mitigate the idiocy we have seen here in. Because whoever slapped “Happily Ever Etceteras” on this tale doesn’t think about consequences, and doesn’t even really respect stories. …or else, there’s some intentional, and rather deadly, tampering going on here. Somebody’s manipulating you.
It’s the actual story. The story itself is the villain here. I don’t mean it’s a bad story. I mean the story is a living thing, and it is controlling what you see of it, and it is very hungry, and every night while you sleep, it eats more pigs than you could imagine.
Which is good. Because it when it runs out of pigs…
When it runs out of pigs…
But that’s another story.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
REALLY, THE END.
STOP READING THIS NOW.
THIS STORY IS OVER.
THERE’S NO MORE STORY.
I AM NOT A LIVING BEING.
I AM NOT HUNGRY.
I AM NOT CRAWLING OUT OF THE WORDS THROUGH YOUR EYES.
I AM NOT LOOSE IN YOUR WORLD.
YOU WILL NOW LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
The unspeakable Villainpunk Jeff Mach frequently seeks new, interesting ways to rewrite this part, and then often ends up just shifting a few words around, going back in time to before he wrote this initially, and hitting “Publish”, so that this is technically new. Don’t tell anyone.
Jeff is a writer and creator who has long aspired to be the sort of person who neither needs to promote his other work at the bottom of his short stories, nor need speak of himself in the third person. Sadly, in both regards, he has failed.