PIGGLY SMELLS THE ROSES
By Joy Clarkson
Acknowledgment – Thank you, Mia, for planting the seed of an idea for this story.
“Dada, Dada,” Mia called out as she scurried into the dining room and made for the corner, at which end of the dining table Dada had set up not only her permanent seat for meals but also a workstation where she’d sit and write.
Mia came and stood beside Dada who looked up from whatever she was doing into Mia’s serious and troubled eyes.
“What’s the matter, Mia? You don’t look too happy.” Mia nodded her head up and down. Dada waited.
“Dada, my lil Piggly has lost his snout!”
“Lost his snout?” Lil Piggly?” This was the first time Dada had heard about a lil pig called Piggly.
“Yes, Dada. Lil Piggly has lost his long snout,” she repeated gesturing with her hands in case Dada didn’t know what a snout was.
“What can I do Mia? Do you want me to help you find the snout?”
“Yes, let’s find Piggly’s snout,” she said, happy and relieved, as she took Dada’s hand in hers.
“Where’s Piggly? I need to ask him some questions,” Dada asked seriously. This was a serious case. Who ever heard of a pig losing its snout!
She pulled Dada out of the dining room and into the corridor that led to the bedrooms.
“There he is,” she said pointing a finger.
“Ah! I see him and he’s not looking very happy. Piggly, can you tell me where you lost your snout?” asked Dada
“Oik, oik,” said Piggly sadly, “I don’t know.”
“See,” piped Mia, “he can’t even speak properly without his snout. He’s saying ‘oik’ instead of ‘oink’!” And she looked so sad Dada thought she’d cry any minute.
Now Piggly, that doesn’t help much, does it? Let’s see, can you tell me all that you did this morning?”
“Well, I played in a muddy puddle. It was so much fun! I rolled around in the muddy puddle and splashed and jumped…” Dada interrupted him.
“And what did you do next?”
“Oik, farmer Longbottom took me to find truffles. I did a good job of it. I’m sure he’s pleased with me, oik, oik!”
“And what else did you do? Where did you go?” asked Dada.
“Oik, oik, I was tired and took a nap. I didn’t go anywhere and I didn’t do anything else.”
“Can you take us to the muddy puddle and the place where you found the truffles?” asked Mia.
“Oik, I can,” said Piggly eagerly. He did want to find his snout.
So off they went to look for Piggly’s snout in the muddy puddle. Dada used a pitchfork to dredge the squelchy, muddy pool for the missing snout but found nothing but slimy leaves and a few pebbles.
Then they trudged to where Piggly had searched for truffles. It was a lot of searching as they had to go over a large area. They were quite exhausted by the time they had finished their search but had still found nothing. No snout!
Mia, Piggly, and Dada, who was not so young anymore, sat under a shady tree to catch their breath and rest their aching legs. No one spoke for a while. They were all lost in their own thoughts. And then the silence was broken by a big…Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!
Piggly had a sneezing fit.
“Do you have a cold Piggly? Said Mia, as she patted Piggly gently.
“No, I don’t,” he replied. “It’s an allergy. It happened earlier today when I was sniffing the roses. I think I’m allergic to roses or flowers or pollen or…dear me! I’m so miserable, I could cry! Oik, Oik, Oik.”
“You smelled the roses?” said Dada sitting up straight.
“When did you smell the roses, Piggly?” asked Mia.
“You never mentioned it earlier,” mumbled Dada annoyed.
“I forgot,” wailed Piggly, “I just remembered when I sneezed. While farmer Longbottom rested under this tree I strolled that way…there. There’s a patch of wild roses down there. I sniffed them and …Achoo! Achoo!” Piggly had another sneezing fit.
Dada took Mia’s hand and both of them hurried in the direction Piggly had pointed out. A short run and they came upon a beautiful sight. The patch of roses!
“Be careful Mia, these roses have nasty thorns. You stay here and I’ll look around for Piggly’s snout.”
Though Dada was very careful, but still, she let out a yelp now and then when a thorn pricked her. And then, Mia heard Dada shouting…she had found the missing snout and was shouting for joy.
“How are we going to put back Piggly’s snout?” Mia wondered aloud.
“We won’t,” replied Dada, “Dr. Horsense will do that. Come on, let’s hurry.”
Later that day, after Dr. Horsense had fixed Piggly’s snout right where it belonged, Dada and Mia went to see how lil Piggly was doing.
“Oink, Oink,” said Piggly happily, when he saw them. “I’m so glad I’ve got back my snout. I’m never going to sniff around roses again. Thank you, Dada. Thank you, Mia,” said lil Piggly as he trotted home.
The story of the story:
Three-year-old Mia, one of the twins, came running to me at my ‘workstation’ and said, “Dada, Piggly has lost his snout.”
I said, “And who is Piggly?”
“My lil pig,” she replied.
From then on the story unfolded as we went around the house…to the places mentioned in the story above.
‘Oink, Oink, it was fun finding Piggly’s snout!