Once upon a time there were three little pigs, called Pig, Bud and Coz. Sociologists considered them Generation-Y pigs, born after 1982, and these pigs understood their lives through the lens of a ‘happy midi-narrative’.
They didn’t believe in meta-narratives (like the Enlightenment’s story of progress or the Christian story of redemption), but they did aspire to be happy, and their lives drew on popular culture and were meaningfully constructed around relationships with friends and family.
Coz was Pig’s cousin and, given they couldn’t afford to get on the property ladder in the foreseeable future, they lived together in a house owned by Pig’s uncle. Pig’s best mate, Bud, lived next door.
One early Sunday morning Pig, Bud and Coz were walking home after a night on the town. Pig’s head was full of the images and sounds of clubbing, and he was smiling. ‘Life is great! I’m with my friends, don’t have to go to work today, and I’m happy!’ The transient goal of the ‘happy midi-narrative’ had been achieved.
But then he heard the clatter of an overturned recycling bin at the far end of the empty high street, and turned round. ‘What was that?’ Coz peered into the distance, past Lloyds TSB and the Pound Shop, and saw a shadow moving. ‘What is that?’ Under the glow of the street-light, and framed against H Samuel’s security grill, the gaunt form of an enormous Wolf appeared, running fast towards them.
Flinging their half-empty bottles of Stella, Pig, Bud and Coz sprinted in the opposite direction. ‘Let’s go to mine’ gasped Coz, extracting his house keys as they ran. They could hear the Wolf’s paws thudding on the pavement eighty yards behind them, and they dashed into their home street, reached the house, scrambled open the front door and collapsed inside.
Peering out through the letterbox, Coz was sickened to see the sharp bared teeth of the wolf. A voice, breathy and low, snarled; ‘little pigs, little pigs, let me in’. Pig and Coz looked at each other in alarm. ‘No by the hairs on our chinny chin chin’! ‘Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in’!
This was not good news. Coz’s dad managed a construction company that specialized in renewable and locally sourced building material, and ‘The Straw House’ was held up as a model of sustainable living. It was not held up by much else. Wolf blew, a chaos of dust, straw and garden twine erupted around them, and the three little pigs scrambled in terror out into the vegetable garden. ‘Quick’, gasped Bud, ‘let’s get into mine’!
Having slammed the Scandinavian pine door securely behind them, dusting the straw off their clothes, the Pigs then faced the horror of the Wolf’s face pressed up against the window. ‘Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!’ This time Bud roared back: ‘no by the hairs on my chinny chin chin!’ Silence. ‘Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!’
Bud’s house was a more solid structure, made mainly from furniture off-cuts from the IKEA factory where his Dad worked. But given their recent experience of ‘Tornado breath’, the pigs weren’t that hopeful. ‘We can’t hide, nor can we run’, gasped Bud, ‘so we’d better fight. The three of us should be able to take this Wolf!’
Armed with their less accurate pool cues, the Three Little Pigs burst out into the street, yelling (squealing) fiercely. But neither their pool cues nor their numbers were of any help. This was a Wolf and they were three little pigs. In a matter of moments the cues were smashed and the bruised and bleeding pigs were cowering on the ground. The Wolf towered over them, licking his chops.
As the imminent prospect of a gruesome death flashed through their minds, the pigs were surprised to hear their neighbour’s door swing open. Despite the local intrusion of IKEA, the Carpenter’s boutique furniture business had flourished, enabling him to buy the large red-brick house adjacent to the Pigs. Awakened by the commotion next door, he had grabbed an axe and emerged in his pyjamas to join the fray.
The Wolf, seeing the real enemy, turned from the whimpering pigs and launched itself. Knocking the Carpenter down and sending the axe spinning, the Wolf’s claws pinned his hands to the ground and with sharp teeth tore into his side. Stopping to leer at the pigs, the Wolf failed to notice the Carpenter stretch, clasp the axe handle and swing it around.
The axe head thudded into the Wolf’s neck, sending it writhing. One more whack did the job. The pigs meanwhile, shaky from shock and blood-loss, scrambled to their feet and, smiling awkwardly at their neighbour who they had previously ignored, muttered garbled words of thanks.
“Come in, and let’s clean up these wounds”, wheezed the bleeding Carpenter, and the wobbly pigs followed him inside, admiring the solid brick work and dark wood interior design. After putting plasters on the pigs’ scratches and wrapping bandages around his own side and feet, the Carpenter showed them the top-floor maisonette that he kept free for guests. They had no homes left to go to.
The next day Coz and Bud informed their dads about the fates of their respective properties, and explained how they decided to stay with the Carpenter for the indefinite future. The two dads got together and developed the vacant plots into a show room for new solar panel systems. Then one day the Carpenter surprised all the pigs by offering them shared equity in his own home, and they quickly signed. And they lived happily ever after. The end.
And what was all that about????