Day 63: Balloon Pig

Balloon Pig
Matt Zurbo


One day a pink balloon somehow escaped the show.
(Pink balloon, with face on it and opening knotted to look like a pig’s tail.)

It floated to Farmer Stewie’s yard, quickly becoming his favourite pig.
(Old farmer squinting/staring at floating balloon, just above the other rummaging pigs.)

“I like the way you stay above the mud,” he confessed.
(Suitable image)

“You never eat too much or poo everywhere. You’re that bit better than the rest.”
(Other pigs covered in mud, fighting, pooing. Balloon just hovering there.)

And when the mean bull charged, it never turned and fled.
(Bull, head down, charging past balloon, chasing other pigs, farmer running out in front of them)

When the work dogs barked, it never towed the line.
(As described)
“A defiant one…” Stewie noticed, with some sort of pride.

And when they back-burned along the road, Stewie’s favourite pig was the only one to hold its ground.
(Balloon string caught in fence, as even crows fly from fire.)

One windy morning he found it hanging out with the rooster, up a tree.
(Farmer scratching his head, as balloon is above him, rooster standing on it, calling.)

The billy goat rammed it, but the pig just leapt high into the air and danced about!
(Billy goat bucking and ramming, balloon floating just behind it.)
Stewie smiled. “Talk about cheeky!”

When Farmer Stewie’s granddaughter came to visit, it followed her everywhere!
“So loyal!” he sighed.
(Little girl holding balloon by its string, as she walks, eating ice cream.)
“I think you need glasses!” Stewie’s daughter replied.

But she never told him his friend was a balloon.
(Farmer digging out channel on vegi row under mighty sun, big pile of dirt behind him, balloon thereabouts, a few pigs, too.)

Life on the farm was hard, lonely.
(Farmer alone in field fixing fence in rain.)

The hours were impossibly long.
(Farmer milking cows, tired, moon well high.)

“A friend’s a friend,’ she whistled a song.
(Farmer hunched, sweating hard, sheering sheep, looking sideways at balloon, that is staring at him.)

Then, down at the show, someone tickled a clown…
(Someone behind clown, tickling. Laughing clown letting go of his pink balloons.)

“Wild pigs!” Farmer Stewie shrieked.
(Balloons blowing across yard, farmer running/ducking to hide. Our balloon, different coloured face, has its string twirled around goat’s horn.)

He chased them all out, they ran with the breeze, but his good mate the quiet pig was chasing the goat again!
(Goat running, balloon on string, being pulled behind it.)

“I’m sorry,” he said, lots of tears in his eyes. “This is a farm. It’s time to turn you into bacon. A farmer has to be fed.”
(Farmer and balloon in slaughter shed. Farmer reaching for slaughter knife.)
“I never gave you a name, or this part would be too hard,” he said.

Farmer Stewie’s friend remained tough. Not once did it squeal or beg!
(Knife tip about to touch the balloon, face same expression as always.)

But, just as his butcher knife came down, poking with its tip, the pig farted, and flapped, and bolted real quick!
(Startled farmer, balloon whizzing all about the slaughter shed, and, most air gone, heading for the door.)
“Strewth!” he cried. “A flying pig!”

“I’m impressed!” he smiled, ringing his daughter; “It beat the knife, did a bolter!”
(Farmer, shouting, excited, down the phone.)

The next day Farmer Stewie’s daughter brought around some glasses. Things were easier, more chores were done.
(Farmer, with glasses, sweating, shouting orders to cattle dogs.)

But without his mate there, everything was less fun.
(Farmer, sitting in mud, fixing water pump, but stopping to look blankly at nothing.)

Next batch of piglets that were born, even though it broke all ruff, gruff farmer rules, Farmer Stewie gave one a name.
“You’re Pinky!” he said.
(Piglets playing, farmer picking one up from the rest.)

Farmer Stewie thanked it for making life on the farm less lonely.
(Farmer working, looking back at tiny piglet standing up to/intimating old ram.)

And promised to never lead it into the butchering shed.
(Farmer happily walking with bag of spuds over shoulder, piglet trotting in front of him.)


The End.

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