The Third Little Pig Has a Problem

Once upon a time, Sir Maverick Sus Scrofa III sat with his back against a perfectly manicured hedge that fell under the shade of an ancient grandfather oak. He had a large straw hat upon his head, for his pale pink skin was extremely susceptible to sunburn. He sipped lilac lemonade from a tall, frosted glass which he held daintily between his two front hooves, and watched a bumble bee guzzle the nectar from his mother’s honeysuckles with a detached interest. 

“Ho hum,” said Maverick to no one in particular, as he was feeling quite melancholy. “Whatever am I going to do?”

“Buzz, buzz,” replied the bumble bee. 

Maverick let out a squeal of surprise. “Mr. Bee, can you hear me?” 

“Buzz, buzz,” replied the bumble bee. 

“Well I suppose you’re as good a listener as anyone, and I have an awfully large problem I need listening to.”

The bumble bee disappeared inside of one of the honeysuckle blossoms. 

“You see,” Maverick went on, “My parents say it’s time I moved out of their house and made my own way in the world. My older brother Mark left last year and has built a lovely house out of straw. You may have visited, for he has a garden filled with nasturtiums and marigolds; it’s down the lane, right across from the candlemakers.”

“Buzz, buzz,” replied the bumble bee, lifting off for a few moments in search of a fresh flower. 

“And my sister Martha left just after the new year and has built a rather fetching home almost completely out of sticks.” Maverick paused and swirled the tiny umbrella around in his drink before taking another sip of lilac lemonade from the frosted glass. “Have you visited? She has a lovely rose bush I know you’d love. It’s kitty-corner to the cobblers.”

The bumble bee landed on the end of Maverick’s snout, as if to say, “well whatever is the problem?”

“Mr. Bee, I am expected to build an even bigger and better house than both Maverick and Martha. Except I have no desire to build a house, and all of the pressure and expectations from mother and father are making me feel awfully glum.”

The bee lifted off of Maverick’s snout and returned to its work. 

“I suppose you’re wondering what I’d like to do instead.” Maverick waited for confirmation. He took the bumble bee’s  silence as permission to continue. 

“You see, I’d much rather return to a simpler kind of life, one without an obsession for material things. I’d rather live a little, errrr, how shall I say, dirtier.

The bumble bee had by now disappeared into another blossom, its tiny yellow bottom just visible along the edge of the flower.  Maverick finished his drink and set it neatly aside. He carefully picked up a small silver bell between his two front hooves and gave it a brisk ring for service. 

“Mr. Bumblebee, I have never told anyone else how I truly wish to spend my life, but I’m going to tell you . . .”

A large rat, looking dapper in royal purple livery, appeared and retrieved the glass with a deep bow. “Very good Freddie, thank you,” Maverick said, dismissing the servant with a toss of his snout. 

“Right then, Mr. Bee, are you still here?” Maverick looked around the gardens and found the bumble bee had moved on to a patch of red and yellow tulips. He stood up on his hing legs and re-buttoned his waistcoat across his ample belly, gave a quick peek over one meaty shoulder to make sure his tail was still properly curled, then ambled across the grass to the bee. 

Maverick leaned in close and whispered,“Mr. Bee, I simply must get this secret off of my chest. Okay, here it is: I wish to leave all of this behind. More than anything in the world, I wish to live in a sty!”

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