The little wolf and the three bad pigs
‘We can’t continue to live this way, can we, Rudy?’
Rudy the little wolf winced. Stepmom Velvela, a truly malignant bitch, had crept up on him once again. Papa Wolfred Phelan-Smith passed away last September in such an unexpected and spectacularly undignified manner. Since then, Rudy had been in the care of Velvela, and life in their penthouse apartment in Manhattan had been everything that a blissful jamboree was not suposed to be. Now, just in case you are wondering what these wolves were doing in Manhattan, let’s be clear at this point that we’re not talking about the Manhattan in New York, but a Wolves’ version with a remarkaby similar skyline. This place - call it Wolfhattan, if you like – is situated in the remote and impenetrable province of Georges’s Bush. And of course, the aforementioned penthouse was just a wolf den in the branches of a very tall birch tree close to Farmer Bob Griffin’s Marijuana farm. Hardly the Buckingham Palace, you may think, but in wolf terms it would be a spacious luxury flat, much sought after by upwardly mobile middleclass professionals. A pretentious Rightmove estate agent would offer a more grandiose description of the den, and if you didn’t take care, you’d have bought yourself a wolf house for the same price as townhouse in Chelsea.
Prior to moving into the “Penthouse”, the Phelan-Smiths had lived in an exclusive wolf dominated suburb in Wolverhampton where Rudy was doted upon by his mom and two sisters, and was very popular in the neighbourhood. Theirs was an ideal family life, one that any right-thinking wolf would aspire. But that was before the divorce. Yes, Wolves also had divorces – It’s a modern world, remember. The lupine divorce process was only slightly different from the human one: Wolves did not need any legal representation because, unlike the human world where all solicitors were wolves, in wolf world all wolves were solicitors. They all understood perfectly that there was no such thing as justice or fairness (as with human solicitors and lawyers, whose whole profession depended on maintaining the illusion of fairness in the absence of justice). Moreover, just like their human parallels, wolves were impersonal and dispassionate in the pursuit of their objectives. If it came to it, they would not think twice about eating their own pups, the only concern being whether to have them grilled, roasted or just plain raw with salt, vinegar and Hungarian paprika.
Since it was Papa Wolfred that had caused the whole thing by having an affair, he had to leave the paradise of Wolverhampton with his tail between his legs – a penance rite that was strictly supervised by the city’s Mayor popularly known as Boris Johnson. In the divorce settlement, Mama Wolfred got the house, the children and Papa’s collection of vintage fur coats, which he won in an arm wrestling contest with Mohamed Al Fayed.
However, since Rudy was a post-minor – he was already 16 wolf-years old (which, in human terms was only two and a half years. Though, unfortunately, he was very small because he belonged to the rare species of Lupus tinnitus) – he decided to go with his dad. It was a decision that intensely angered his mom and his sisters, resulting in an unprecedented racket of snarls and growls, culminating in an ultimate fang-baring tournament. Rudy’s mom was declared the outright winner.
It was hard to believe that Stepmom Velvela used to be quite nice. Initially, the three of them had lived happily in the penthouse, enjoying Velvela’s excellent cooking (which could only be eaten by wolves since she had attended Gordon Ramseys cooking academy), playing wolf Monopoly and a game very much like Scrabbles but which they called ‘Wobbles’. They also regularly went out shopping or sightseeing at night on the Manhattan streets.
It was no secret that Velvela had married his dad because she thought he possessed a secret stash of gold-plated, gilt-edged Ponzi Bonds and other monitzed securities cunningly invested with Bernard Maddof to avoid the grubby hands of the Inland Revenue. Old Wolfred was not yet cold in his grave (or more accurately, in the stomachs of the big bad pigs who dragged him away after he fell from the window of the penthouse), when Velvela ransacked the apartment in search for the documents that would entitle her to his hidden wealth. As it gradually became obvious that papa’s fabulous wealth never existed, her animosity towards Rudy took on a new dimension.
Moreover, Rudy’s penchant for silly practical jokes did not completely endear him to his ever-furious stepmom. She completely freaked out and howled the roof down when he played the glowing-and-exploding-egg trick on her. He had to keep his head down for several days and endure her cold stares and perilous growls of displeasure. Soon after that, he put some lupine superglue on her toothbrush (very different from human toothbrushes, in case you are wondering. It consisted of a small stick, which had been chewed at the end by a competent gerbil with at least a 2.1 B.Sc. degree from the University of Surrey). He suffered for his actions, of course, but the amusement was worth all the pain. For many days afterwards, Velvela’s teeth remained permanently bared in a hilarious wolfish snare. What annoyed her most was that she was constantly stopped on the street and asked for her autograph by people who thought she was Tony Blair. To Rudy, the giggle value was beyond priceless. Although it was the sign of the gravest possible danger, he was always fascinated by the way her eyes flashed when she was livid with anger. His best one was when he put some Ulrika cream (which consisted of cactus sap and wolf saliva) in her shampoo. The effect was spectacular. She could not leave the penthouse for several weeks until her hair grew back, because she did not want to be mistaken for William Hague; now that was quite a scream.
‘Well, Rudy. Are you listening?’ She hammered away at him while he hung his head in desperate contrition, hoping that, as usual, the storm would soon pass.
‘I have had it up to here with your insolent and selfish behaviour,’ she said, raising her chubby paw up to her ferocious, Heseltinian, eyebrows. ‘You must now leave.’ Although she’d said this several times before, it sounded like she really meant it this time. ‘I can’t continue to have you living here eating my food, sitting on my new Ikea sofa and taking up useful space in the house. I certainly can’t have you standing in front of my flatscreen 40 inch TV all day, constantly blocking the view when I’m watching Ophrah (wolf Oprah, that is; although the difference was negligible). She howled in a high-pitched Scottish accent that hurt the little wolf in his poor little ears. It was like listening to a Siamese cat in a Hotpoint WT960P, during the final cycle of the 60-degree super-spin rinse - or the sound of Cheryl Cole laughing at Simon Cowell’s eccentric fashion sense.
‘Look Rudy, what I am saying is that it is time you moved on and be a nuisance to someone else. Get your own accommodation, cook your own clothes and wash your own food...’
‘Don’t “But mom”, me’ retorted Velvela, ‘I’m no mom of yours. Pack your bags and leave this house at once’
(‘Tree’, that is)
Rudy went to his bedroom and packed all his things into a battered old red leather case, so that as he came out, for a brief moment, he looked like Alistair Darling on his way to present the national budget for 2008.
‘…And don’t leave any of your junk behind!’ yelled Velvela, throwing a battered old boot down the stairs after him. As Rudy turned round he saw the boot flying in his direction and it reminded him of Richard Branson hurtling earthward after the bottom had dropped out of the basket of his hot air balloon. He tried to dodge the approaching missile but it was too late. Branson caught him right between the eyes. At that precise moment, he attained a perfect understanding of the true meaning of pain. He scurried out of the house faster than Usain Bolt would have done if he had a V2 rocket down his tousers and a couple of live lobsters in his Y front.
‘Let’s see how far you get before the big bad pigs get you. The only shame is that you’re too small to be anything other than snacks for them’
With those wicked words ringing in his poor little ears, Rudy set out on his uncertain journey back to his mom and sisters in Wolverhampton. As it was getting late, however, his immediate priority was to find a place to rest before nightfall. Rudy was surrounded by large shadows. He had been told stories of the olden days when wolves were bigger than all the other animals; bigger even than lions and elephants. But because of their unkind attitude to little pigs. Margaret Thatcher, in 1976, proposed a Bill. She shoved into the Parliament, whipped it up, turned over, and rammed into House of Commons. The oppositions grabbed it around the throat and clobbered around the ears with a golden mace. It ricoheted through the labyrintine coridors of power, lost its way and wandered aimlessly for many years until it grew a white wispy beard, and then it bumped into Rolf Harris’ oversize tummy, fell flat on its face, and became law. From then on, wolves became smaller than even the smallest of all little pigs and the pigs became bigger than even the biggest of all elephants, but certainly not as big as Vanessa Feltz. This single action of magnanimity officially turned Margaret Thatcher into the patron saint of pigs. To this day, in every pig household, a live size statue of her occupies the pride of place. However in the household of all wolves, a miniature effigy of her adorned the corner of every toilet, where it had been found to be a very effective cockroach repellent.
And so it was that the woeful era of wolves expired and was superseded by the dispensation of the swine. Since then pigs had considered little wolves to be considrably delicious. But, thank heavens, they were quite civilised about the whole thing - Delia Smith’s recommended recipe of roast wolf with garlic and rosemary in onion source was a particular favourite among the pigs.
Rudy crept stealthily in the shadow of the trees and kept close to the overgrown bushes. His ears stood errect and looked as if a Seville row tailor had starched them in place. Every strange noise was amplified several time over, but nothing could keep the ringing harsh words of Velvela out of his head; ‘Snacks for the big bad pigs, that’s all you’ll ever be’
It was now very dark and Rudy’s legs had turned into marshmallows and were doing the same thing that Bruce Forsyth’s legs did when he thought he was doing the Foxtrot. He found a little clearing under a big willow tree, away from the footpath, made himself a bed of hay and twigs, and he laid down. It was not very comfortable but he was glad that, at least, it would be more reliable than a sofa bed from Argos. He soon fell asleep and had a dream that was very different from the famous dream of comrade Martin Luther King. In Rudy’s dream, a big hairy pig bearing a striking resemblance to John Prescott, was about to set fire to the bed that he was lying on. He sprang up immediately and quickly climbed up the tree. As he lay sleeping on the branch he was woken by a loud roar. He jumped off the tree and ran for dear life. He ran as fast and as far as his little legs could carry him, but he continued to hear the roar which only grew louder with each trot. Soon he became so tired that he could not run anymore. It was clear that he had to choose between death by exhaustion and death by some unknown roarng monster. He stopped and hid in the bushes, fearfully waiting for the inevitable. He shut his eyes tight and thought about all the things that he had done. ‘Oh God,’ He prayed, ‘Forgive all my sins. I dont want to go to hell!’. Wolf hell was far worse than human hell - they had no Sky TV and the food was almost as bad as McDonald’s. His worst sin ever was when he put a dead fish in Theodore Green's rugby boot and no amount of washing would get the stink out of it. ‘Please, God’ he pleaded, ‘it was just a bit of fun. I promise I will never do it again’ he trembled as the cold wind riffled through his coarse gray fur. The roar suddenly grew even much louder. The good little wolf frowned. He was astonished to find that the roaring was comming from his own stomach.
He was hungry. So hungry that his head was starting to ache. Right now, I coudl eat anything. He could eat a whole double decker bus, or one of the awful bendy road monsters unleashed by Ken Livingston to cause mayhem and distruption in the high streets of London. He was so hungry that even if a pig came by, no matter how big, no matter how bad, he would eat it. He wasn’t even going to be civilised about it, he would swallow it whole! He was starting to feel like a big bad wolf.
It was at that moment that Bernard, the big bad boar, appeared. Their eyes met and locked, so that Rudy could not run away. Suddenly Rudy wasn’t so hungry anymore.
Bernard smiled a wicked smile. ‘You, know, little Wolfie, I could read your mind from miles away. I believe you were entertaining the preposterous fantasy of eating a whole pig, is that right?’
‘I... I... I’m really sorry’ said the little wolf ‘I must have been crazy’
‘Yes, of course, you must have been crazy indeed’ His garlic breath was worse than Mahatma Gandhi’s. He smacked his snout loudly and licked it with a flabby pink tongue. He had an evil twinkle in his eyes and spoke with the polished baritone of a Halifax bank manager. ...I’m going to offer you a very good deal: first I will saddle you a special bonanza loan at a random interest rate and then I will consolidate your overdrafts and credit card debts into one great big club with which I will wack the living daylight out of you. And then, of course, I’m going to eat you.
‘Tell me, little wolf, how do you feel now, knowing that long ago, your forefathers used to eat little pigs, and now, see how the tables are turned?’
Rudy began to cry.
The big bad pig jeered on ‘Look who is crying now. What happened to all your huffing and puffing, eh? I’m the one doing all the huffing and puffing around here now!’
The big bad pig had brown smelly teeth but, unlike Gary Liniker’s, his were big and they looked very sharp. They gleamed perilously every time he smiled. It looked as if any time from now poor little Rudy would be pig snacks.
But suddlenly there was a loud bang. It was farmer Bob Griffin, on his evening rounds. But it was not sound of his gun, it was just him breaking wind. For him it was a moment of truimph because he had just broken the world record for the loudest fart, which hitherto was held by Prince Charles.
Bernard the boar took flight in mortal fright and Rudy fled in the opposite direction. He carried on running without looking back. He ran far into George’s bush, until he came to small stream called. He gratefully lapped up some water and felt some strength gradually creep back into his weary bones. Nearby, an ugly frog called Madonna was teaching her children to make a noise that sounded suspiciously like the Japanese national anthem. It was quite a racket. It hurt Rudy in his poor little ears because it reminded him of Lady Gaga’s new single. So he went on his way, determined to put as much distance as possible between him and the gaga frogs.
Soon he found a fallen tree, hollowed out by squirrels as hungry as Naomi Campbell. It would make a perfect hiding place, he thought. As he went further in he was surprised that it led to a cosy apartment with contemporary magnolia walls and fully fitted walnut shelves and wardrobes of exceptionally superior quality. The bedroom was ensuite and the WC had a luxurious cromium-plated flush handle. He tiptoed on the gleaming marble floor to the kitchen and opened the fridge that was the size of the Royal Albert hall, bedecked with a wide selection of pies, pastries, cheese and exotic fruits. Rudy wasted no time at all, he helped himself to some pies and a glass of fresh milk. Afer a steaming hot shower, he admired himself in the wall-to-wall mirror and smiled. He was one sexy little wolf. He was more dashing than Amanda Holden – before she grew her ginger moustache. The bathroom was softly lit, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major filled the air.
Back in the bedroom, Manu Dibango was doing the Makossa Blow and Rudy cold not help wriggling his little bottom to the beat. He found a soft velvet pyjama robe on the bed and it fitted perfectly. He tucked himself into the warm comfortable bed and was soon snoring loudly.
He could have slept for two hours or two days, or even two weeks. When he opened his eyes the first thing he saw was a pair of piggy eyes. At first he thought he was looking at Chris Tarrant, but he became instantly alert when the pig’s snout came into sharp focus. He realised that he wasn’t looking at kindly old Tarrant, but at Peggy the big bad teenage gilt. She was wearing a red Beret, a dirty brown T-shirt underneath her apron, and a pair of combat trousers. By this time Rudy was, of course, no longer in the nice posh apartment. He was lying in the middle of Peggy’s kitchen, which was anything but posh. There was litter all over the place. A stack of unwashed plates and pots was on the worktop next to the sink, which was overflowing with brown oily water that stank.
‘Hello...’ said the little wolf in a weak shaky voice. ‘...Er ... I reckon I just lost my way...If you will excuse me, I will get out of your house right at once’
‘Shush!’ Peggy held up a murky hoof in front of Rudy, ‘Keep quiet. I consider it insulting to be making polite conversation with my diner’ she whipped out her I-phone from the pouch of her stained apron. ‘Jenny, Guess what...I just caught a wolf...no just a measly little thing... text me Jamie Oliver’s new wolf meat tenderloin recipe? (The Jamie Oliver of pigs, that is) ...ah, yes...how long should I leave it in the oven...yes...yes...that would be like really nice, thanks, I’ll call you when its all done ... Ah, one more thing; what should do with its head? .. ok, I see. Ta…ciao!’
None of which was music to poor Rudy’s ears. He swallowed hard as he stared at the long, sharp knife on the floor beside him. He could feel the heat from the raging fire in the open oven. There was no escape since Peggy had him pined to the floor with one hoof. His eyes welled up and he shut them in a desperate last prayer. And then he remembered the scene in Goldfinger where James Bond was strapped to a table and his nuts were about to be fried with a laser beam and Bond said ‘So you expect me to talk?’ and the big bad guy replied ‘No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die’, whereupon Rudy burst into a fresh round of uncontrollable sobs. But, of course Bond did not die, did he? Perhaps Rudy too could have a ‘James Bond’ moment. This inspiring thought filled him with an inner glow and wild primeval cry erupted from deep within his little wolf lungs which completely caught Peggy off her guard and caused her to raise her hoof from Rudy’s chest. He leapt from the floor and took flight. Unable to find his way out of the kitchen, he ran around knocking over the pots and pans and other bits of furniture in true James Bond fashion, with the petulant teenage pig hot on his heels. This carried on for over thirty wolf minutes before there was a loud explosion from the oven, which, presumably, had tired of watching their disgraceful performance and had finally belched in disgust. Peggy was too close. The fire from the oven ran up her piggy tail like an oil soaked wick. Rudy did not wait to see what happened next, he took his chance to make good his escape.
As he stepped out into the warmth and brightness of the morning sunshine there was a spring in his trot and a buzz in his tail. He bounded along the path and disappeared into the woods. He galloped nonstop for more than four wolf hours (which is anything between three or sixteen Microsoft hours). He was sure that he was not too far from Wolverhampton. His little wolf mind was filled with excitement and he could not wait to see his Mom, sisters and all his friends. He soon became confident that he had left the nasty pig far behind. He cut down his pace first to a brisk trot, and then a leisurely gait. Soon he was singing ‘Every Breath You Take’, his favourite Police song.
It took some time for Rudy to realise that he was not walking alone. He had not noticed that there was another voice singling along with him until they got to ‘Oh can’t you see you belong to me’ nor did he notice the moving shadow under which he had been merrily journeying for the past hour- A shadow in the shape of a very big pig.
‘Don’t turn round or I’ll eat you at once’
Rudy froze in mid-trot and his legs suddenly lost their spring. Although it sounded almost exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy recognized the sonorous grunt of Sylvester Peck, the geriatric boar. He could grate a pound of stilton with the menacing rasp in his voice – a feat that could also only be performed by Lionel Ritchie. Old Sylvester was an ex mathematics teacher in Swinechester Boars Grammar school. Yes, Pigs did Mathematics too, except that they called it Pig-a-maticks and their numbers stopped at seven. If you said ‘twelve’ to a pig, it would wonder what the hell you were talking about and invariably recommend the services of a famous swine psychotherapist called Professor Freud.
In the heydays of old Sylvester, they believed that the only way to enforce knowledge was by inflicting pain. Thus, while humans have certificates to show for their qualifications, pigs had scars and tooth marks instead. Sylvester himself had lost an ear to gain his valuable knowledge of porcine calculus and swine trigonometry.
Rudy wanted to run away but did not think that he could outrun a boar of Sylvester’s size. His poor little heart weighed down with sorrow as he once again began to contemplate his final prayers. He felt himself being prodded by Sylvester’s cloven hoof. ‘This is it’, Rudy thought (which was not what Michael Jackson had in mind when he commissioned his 2009 worldwide concert using exactly the same words). The Pig’s breath wheezed spasmodically like the slide valve of a piston steam engine designed and assembled by a slumdog engineer. Rudy suddenly realised that this boar was old and tired, so he took off like Linford Christie on a red-hot racing track, and never once looked back. He could only hear old Sylvester’s feeble threats dwindling rapidly as he put some distance between them. In a while he was completely clear of pig territory and he knew he could not be too far from his final destination.
As Rudy approached Wolverhampton, he wondered what was going on, because he could hear the loud sound of cheering and celebration. He smiled and trotted merrily on, relieved to be on the safe and familiar grounds of his hometown. He was surprised to see that the road had been lined with friends, neighbours, and other wolves carrying banners that said ‘Welcome back home, Rudy’. He was startled by the fireworks and fanfare. Two unconvincing teenage bouncers, called John and Edward, flanked him on both sides and led him to their doorstep where a BBC reporter was already interviewing his mom and two sisters.
‘Our dear celebrity big bother!’ giggled his sisters
‘How did you guys know that I was coming home?’ he asked in bewilderment and his mom explained to him that he had been on TV right from the time he left the apartment in Manhattan. Every leaf on the trees, every star in the sky and every stone on the ground, carried a hidden camera and other sophisticated recording equipment. The whole thing was arranged by a deranged presenter called Derren Brown. Rudy and his family became the most famous wolf celebrities and made a fortune in endorsements and TV interviews all over the world. His Autobiography outsold both Tony Blair’s and Peter Mandelson’s combined. The royalty on that alone made him a millionaire several times over.
And they all lived happily ever after – until they received a letter from Velvela who had hired a human solicitor called Max Clifford, and was suing them over the production rights and for 85% of the entire proceeds from the reality TV show.
Due date: 20 Oct 2010
Working Title: The hand of fate
A man finds a nasty surprise in the pocket of a jacket that he has mistaken for his own. Instead of reporting to the police he decides to investigate the mater by himself and attempts to use the information to his own advantage. His decision takes him through a journey that he would forever wish he had never taken.