[Author’s note: one assignment in Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass was to take a well-known story and turn it on its head or tell it from the POV of another character. This is my result.]

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who went out into the world to seek their fortunes.

The first little pig was an animal rights activist and a vegan. When it came time for him to build a house, he decided on straw bale and mud construction with a thatch roof. It delighted the first little pig when his roof became home to birds, mice and bees. He enjoyed sharing his living space with all of Mother Nature’s creatures.

The second little pig, a minimalist, was a self-sufficiency expert and a founding member of the tiny house movement. He built himself a fine, wooden home that was the very model of efficiency and off-the-grid living. His home was mobile, produced its own energy with solar panels on the roof and collected the gray water from the kitchen sink. The second little pig was very proud of not depending on “the Man.”

The third little pig was a capitalist pig. He worked as a middle manager in an abattoir, taking advantage of other pigs while making sure he kept his well-paid job. He took out a mortgage he could ill afford in order to build a sturdy, brick McMansion down the street from his two brothers. It was not enough for him to earn the most money and own the biggest house. He had to showcase his house in such a way that everyone who knew the brothers would know that he was the most financially successful of the three little pigs. It was a large, complicated project and the third little pig had spent a lot of time and money on special items and unnecessary ornamentation.

One day, a wolf came to town. He was hungry and looking for a meal when he spotted the first little pig sweeping the walkway in front of his straw bale house. When the first little pig saw the wolf, he ran into his house and locked the door.

The wolf knocked, but of course, the first little pig did not let him in. (Not by the hair on his chinny chin chin!)

So, the wolf huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and he puffed, but straw bale and mud houses are a lot sturdier than they seem and the wolf could not blow the house down.

Next, the wolf spied the thatch roof and a nearby ladder and decided that he could easily claw his way in to the little pig’s house through that flimsy roof.

But the wolf, having always been a loner, didn’t understand the importance of friendship. He didn’t realize that the thatch was full of creatures who all loved the pig very much. The birds pecked at him; the mice scratched and bit him; and the bees stung him until he fell from the roof and ran off down the road, grumbling that the first little pig was much too much trouble to eat.

The wolf walked along the road and came upon the second little pig, who was watering his window box herb garden with gray water and rotating the solar panels to catch the afternoon sun’s rays. When the second little pig saw the wolf, he ran inside his tiny house and locked the doors and closed the shutters.

The wolf knocked on the door, but the second little pig wasn’t stupid and did not let him in. (Not by the hair on his chinny chin chin!)

So, the wolf huffed and puffed, and he huffed and puffed, again. And he blew the second little pig’s house right down the hill (because it was on wheels, remember?) The second pig had expected this, which is why he let go of the parking brake as soon as he had entered the house. As the house started its descent, he jumped into the driver’s seat of his mobile home and started the engine, racing away from the wolf as fast as he could.

After recovering from the shock of blowing a house down the street instead of simply down, the wolf shook his head, muttering about lunatics and houses on wheels, and continued to walk along the road, hungrier than ever before.

The wolf spotted the third little pig, and his hungry heart soared!

The third little pig, because of delayed deliveries and labor disputes, was hard at work, finishing his ostentatious brick house all by himself because he refused to pay overtime. When the third little pig saw the wolf, he gasped in horror. There was nowhere for him to run. His house was still unfinished. He had barely taken two steps before the wolf was upon him and had the unfortunate pig for his supper.

Fully sated, the wolf looked around and decided that he would finish building the fancy brick house and live in it himself.

And so he did.

But, the joke was on him because the heating costs were astronomical.

© 2020 Liza Cameron Wasser