Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys


Chapter 1: “Curly Twistytail Is Named”

Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, in the days when there were fairies and giants and all things like that, there lived in a little house, on the edge of a wood, a family of pigs. Now these pigs weren’t like the pigs, which perhaps you children have seen on most farms. No, indeed! They were just the nicest cleanest, sweetest pigs you ever dreamed of—not that pigs on a farm can’t be clean, if they want to, but, somehow or other, no one seems to have time to see that they are clean. I guess it would take some one like Jennie Chipmunk to sweep and dust their pen for them. Anyhow the pigs I am going to tell you about were very different from most pigs, and they had some very funny adventures. First, there was the papa pig, and his name was Mr. Archibald Twistytail though no one ever called him anything but Mr. Twistytail except maybe his wife, when he forgot to bring up a scuttle of coal so she could do the washing. And then, of course there was Mrs. Twistytail—she was the mamma pig. And there were two little boy pigs, and for a time they didn’t have any names, as their papa and mamma were so busy that they couldn’t think what to call them. So they just said “Here sonny!” or “Hi, Bubby,” whenever they wanted them to come in, or eat their dinner. One of these little boy pigs always wore short trousers with stripes painted on them, and the other little piggie chap’s trousers were like a checker-board. And then—oh, but I almost forgot about the little baby pig. She was the sweetest little creature you can imagine, and her right name was Pinky, because she was so pink, just like a baby’s toes when she sleeps in her crib. But Pinky was hardly ever called by her right name, almost every one said just “Baby,” and that answered very well. And now I’m going to tell you how one of the pigs got his name. He was the oldest pig of the three children, and one day he and his brother thought they would go out for a walk. “Come along!” exclaimed the oldest boy pig. “Maybe we will have an adventure, such as Uncle Wiggily Longears used to have,” for you see the pigs knew Uncle Wiggly almost as well as you do. “All right,” said the younger boy pig. “Where shall we go?” “Off in the woods,” spoke his brother. “The woods are full of adventures.” So they strolled out of their house, and started for the woods. I forgot to say that the Twistytail family of pigs lived in a regular house—of course not the kind you boys and girls live in, but still it was a very good house for pigs. It had tables in it, and chairs and beds and all things like that. And the reason they were called “Twistytail” was because their tails did have a sort of twist or turn in them. Well, the two pig boys wandered on through the woods, and pretty soon they came to two paths, one leading to left and the other to the right. “Let’s go this way,” said the older pig boy, who yet didn’t have any name, and he pointed his leg toward the right-hand path. “No, I think we will find an adventure on this road,” said his younger brother, and he started off to the left. “Oh, there you go!” cried the older pig boy. “You never want to do what I like!” “Well, I’ve got just as good a right to go this way as you have to go that way,” answered the younger piggie-iggie, and so those two brothers, instead of keeping together and looking for adventures, separated, and one went one way, while the other went the other way. And now you just wait and see what happens. All of a sudden, as the older piggie boy was walking along, digging up nice sweet roots with his nose—for you know that is the way piggies dig—all of a sudden, I say, there was a growling noise in the bushes, and before the little pig boy could jump out of the way, or even call for his mamma or papa, a big black bear sprang out from inside a hollow stump, and grabbed him. Right in his paws he grabbed that little pig boy. “Oh, ho!” growled the big black bear. “You are just what I’ve been waiting for. Now for a nice roast pork dinner. Oh, yum! yum!” “Oh!” squealed the little pig boy. “Surely you don’t mean to eat me, Mr. Bear! Please let me go!” “Indeed I’ll not!” exclaimed the bear. “I was hiding here, hoping Sammie Littletail or Uncle Wiggily would come along, so I could have a rabbit dinner, but you will do just as well. Come along!” And so the bear carried off the little piggie boy farther into the woods, intending to take him to a den where there was a good hot fire. And all the while the little piggie tried to get away but he couldn’t because the bear held him so tightly in his paws. Pretty soon the bear came to his den. Then he said: “Let me see, now. I must have some applesauce to go with my roast pork dinner. I’ll just tie this little pig to the fence while I go off and get some apples to make into sauce. I can cook the apples and the pig on the same fire.” Then the bear looked blinkingly at the little pig, and said: “Let me see. How can I tie him to the fence? Oh, I know, by his tail. I’ll just fasten him by his tail.” And that’s what he did, tying the poor little piggie to the fence by his tail, with a piece of wild grape vine for a string. And the bear wound the grape vine string, that was fast to the little pig’s tail around and around the round rail of the fence. Then the bear went off after apples for sauce. Well, of course the poor little pig felt very badly, and he didn’t know what to do. He even cried a little bit, but I’m sure you won’t blame him for that, will you? And he said: “Oh, I wish my little brother was here. He might help me!” And then, all of a sudden, there was a rustling in the bushes, and the little pig, who was tied by his tail to the fence, thought it was the bear coming back. But it wasn’t, for all at once a voice called out: “Oh, brother! What has happened to you?” And there was the piggie’s little brother looking for him. “Oh!” cried the pig boy who was tied to the fence by his tail. “A bear caught me. A big black bear! He is going to eat me as soon as he comes back with the applesauce. Save me!” “Indeed I will,” said the little brother. And with his sharp teeth he gnawed through the grape vine string, and then his brother was free. “Come on!” exclaimed the littlest pig. “We must run home away from the bear!” And they did, getting back to their house safely, and oh! how disappointed that bear was when he returned with the apples and found his pig dinner gone. He was so peevish that he threw all the apples away. And when Mrs. Twistytail saw her little boy she exclaimed: “Oh, my sakes alive! How did you get that curl in your tail?” “I—I guess that was where the bear tied me to the fence,” said the piggie boy, and so it was. His tail was all curled tight, like a little girl’s hair. His mamma tried to take the curl out with a warm flatiron, but the kink stayed in the tail, and so Mr. Twistytail said: “I guess we’ll have to call our piggie boy by the name of Curly after this,” and so they did, and that’s how one piggie boy got the name of “Curly Twistytail.” And in case the shells don’t all come off the eggs and leave the feathers sticking out for a sofa cushion, I’ll tell you next how the other little pig got his name.

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