~ Part 1 ~
Mummy-Puggy and Daddy-Puggy told Piggy and Puggy a story.
It was the story of how they came to be separated from their beloved piglet-son Puggy—of how their “clever piglet” got taken from them. To Puggy their narrative was at least partly a memory; the more they told it the more he remembered, until at last he realised he knew how the story finished with him in a cardboard box outside a brum-brum feeding place.
They always knew Puggy was different. They had four piglets in that litter: Boran, Boren, Boron, and Puggy. Boran, Boren and Boron were much like the rest of the piglets in the sounder. Puggy was different. For starters, he was uniformly brown, instead of stripy like all his siblings. Secondly, he was a little… strange.
He didn’t have a normal boar-name. Mummy-Puggy and Daddy-Puggy explained that Boran, Boren and Boron were all common and pleasingly traditional for wild boar. Despite the fact that Puggy was brown, and certainly didn’t look like a normal wild boar piglet, they had originally been intending to call him “Borin”.
“That’s another nice, safe, sensible name for a wild boar”, Daddy-Puggy had said.
However Mummy-Puggy and Daddy-Puggy were shocked when just two days after he was born, their brown piglet announced to them in a loud and forceful manner that he was not Borin and instead was (a) interesting, and (b) Puggy.
“I didn’t know what to make of it”, Mummy-Puggy said. “Piglets aren’t meant to be able to snort when they are only two days old! And they are certainly not meant to be able to decide on their own names!”
Over the next few days it became clear to them that Puggy was very different. He was so intelligent. In fact, by the end of the week, both Mummy-Puggy and Daddy-Puggy were slightly worried that their new piglet was already more than their intellectual equal.
They’d observed him trying to organise Boran, Boren, and Boron into a line to “maximise feeding efficiency”.
“Your snorts, not mine!”, Daddy-Puggy exclaimed turning to Puggy.
Apparently Puggy had worked out that Mummy-Puggy could only feed three of them at the same time.
“I’m only a modestly sized sow”, Mummy-Puggy snorted.
Mummy-Puggy had never really thought about this before.
“I suppose I just fed whoever was nearest”.
Daddy-Puggy explained that they’d observed Puggy drawing a line in the ground with his hoof. Then he tried to persuade the other three youngsters to stand behind the line.
“You told them to line up in order of how hungry they were”, Daddy-Puggy explained.
Of course, being only a few days old, none of the others understood Puggy, and they paid little attention to him. But both Mummy-Puggy and Daddy-Puggy had been astounded.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes!”, Daddy-Puggy said. “I snorted at Mummy-Puggy to come and watch, and she was flabby-gusted too”.
However it wasn’t until that fateful day with the nasty orange-woof-woof hunters that they really understood quite how special Puggy was…
To be continued…
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