An old woman climbed a mountain with a child on her back and, trotting at her heels, a pig called Bacon and, tied to her belted waist, a bulging sack. When they got to the top the hungry old woman said “We must eat something now” and tied Bacon to a peg. The old woman looked at Bacon. “I’m going to cook you” she said. “You can’t do that” said Bacon. “I’ve climbed the mountain, just as you did. Eat me? What a cheek! I walked alongside you, trusted you. Change of plan: we cook the child, it'll make a fine stew.” Here the pig snorted, warming to the idea. “Yes, eat the child. He’s a burden, of no use. Eat him. Your load will be lighter, and I’ll taste much worse.” The hungry old woman’s eyes popped out of her head; she'd never heard a pig talk. It was peculiar, a shock, she felt rather upset. “You can’t eat a child! What a wicked thing to do!” Now it was the hungry old woman who was all in a stew. “He is not an It. Jack is his name. He was an orphan, and he is lame.” “What’s an orphan?” said Bacon the pig. “An orphan,” said the old woman “has no family. They’re alone in this world until someone adopts them, someone like me.” “Aha!” said the pig. “How can you be so cruel? You adopted me, called me Bacon, fed me, and what do you do? Turn around and tell me you’re going to kill me, cook me, eat me, as if I mean nothing, nothing, to you.” “You don’t mean anything to me” said the hungry old woman. “I raised you, fed you, to be our food. I don’t love you as I do my little lame Jack.” The hungry old woman was now in a foul mood. “How callous” said Bacon to the sympathetic view - scruffy, small clouds in a sky painted blue. He couldn’t look at the old woman. “What if I love you? That is why I puffed up this mountain without recompense. And what is lame?” “Lame means he cannot use his legs, cannot walk. I have to carry him. And who taught you, a dumb pig, how to talk?” “You did!” said Bacon. “Whenever you were in the yard you talked to me about your problems, about the world. I had to learn fast, I didn’t want to miss a word.” The old woman sat down, defeated, on a rock. “Oh my goodness,” she said “who would have thought? A talking pig, a child named Jack, and nothing to eat except... what is in this sack.” From the sack she pulled: a loaf of bread, half a cabbage, an onion, lard, a pot, a spoon, a knife, matches, and a board. As the sky darkened and stars emerged... A pig called Bacon, a child named Jack, and a hungry old woman, ate all the food that was once in the sack. THE END An Old Woman & a Pig by Michele Damstra
Who knows, one day An Old Man & a Crow might cross paths with the old woman and her pig?