The Little Pig Who Wanted To Fly

From the top of the barn, the cockerel crowed in the new day. As usual, he was late but no one minded. Dotty had been up for hours and was relaxed in the mud pit. Rolling in the mud was Dotty’s favourite thing to do.
Laid out on her back, Dotty gazed up at the sky. Her eyes followed the swallows as they danced around the faceless clouds. She was hypnotised as they plunged and climbed, circled and dived and her mind started to wander. How much fun would it be to move so effortlessly? To see everything? To go anywhere? Flying, now that would be something special. She slapped her trotter into the mud, her mind made up - she was going to fly.
Dotty left the mud pit and went in search of her friends. She found them in the farmyard. “I’m going to fly,” she announced.
All the animals looked at Dotty, their expressions showed their surprise as they chorused, “Fly?”
Rooh, the wise old cockerel spoke, “Everyone knows that cockerels are pink, hens are purple, pigs are green, horses are blue, sheep are orange and cows are red. It’s the way things are and pigs do not ever, under any circumstances fly.”
“Well, I’m lime with orange spots,” Dotty indignantly called after Rooh’s retreating pink plume as he strutted his way to a group of purple hens.
Dotty huffed her way back to the mud. She knew, deep inside her round belly, that Rooh was wrong. She knew that she had the potential to fly. Dotty decided that she was going to show Rooh that pigs really could fly.
A quartet of violet hens wandered over to Dotty and pecked at the grass which edged the mud pit. Between pecks they suggested hen-power may be the solution.
Puzzled, Dotty asked, “Hen-power?”
As the foursome explained, Dotty imagined attaching one hen to each trotter and then running as fast as she could as they flapped. Dotty was game. Hen-power was indeed an option.
After much argument over which hen should have which leg they eventually fastened themselves, with bale twine, to their allotted limb. In a confused mix of dust, feathers, grunts and squawks they thundered along their makeshift runway. Before they managed to lift off, the fence stubbornly blocked their path. Dotty was forced into an emergency stop. Let me tell you that was not a pretty sight. Hens and pig in a panic with broken feathers, wings that had gone into over-flap and eggs. Yes eggs, the abrupt stop had set off some rapid laying and in the scramble everyone got covered in sticky mess. The rest of the farmyard helplessly rolled around the ground as their sides all but burst as they laughed themselves silly.
The jumbled troop of failed flyers untangled themselves and slunk to the water troughs to get clean. As they floated on their backs they looked up at the birds. There had to be a way to get Dotty airborne. They had to find a way. Rosie, a cow named after her unusual colouring, called over and suggested the farmer’s food delivery system. Dotty squealed with anticipation as she splashed around the trough.
With the hens in tow, she headed over to the five barred field gate. They all peered through the bars and gasped in wonderment. There, in front of the barn, was the food chucking machine. With renewed enthusiasm, Dotty squeezed under the gate and galloped over to the contraption. She checked it over with her snout and declared that this was the launcher they needed to get them off the ground. The hens started pecking and backed away. Dotty followed them and tried to herd them back but they clucked their departure.
Alone, Dotty went back to snorting over the kit and caboodle. Now that she had a launcher she needed wings. The sheep in the next field bleated, the cows mooed and in the distance she could hear the squeals from her clan. Maybe they would help? Dotty remembered her mother and the traumatic horror of their separation. Rasher, the leader of the boar, had called at her home with his Enforcers. Dotty had been taken away and was thrown out from the clan. Cut off from her family all because of her orange spots. She swallowed the lump in her throat and looked at her skin. The mud baths had helped but her bright orange spots remained. Dotty was even more determined to fly, to show them all that even spotty pigs had value.
Dotty turned away from her family and focused on the food catapult. Maybe she could try it without wings? Foolishly, Dotty clambered into the food bucket and pulled the release lever. The catapult sprang forwards launching Dotty into the air as she squealed to the empty field, “Look, I’m flying.” No one looked as no one heard.
What they did hear was Dotty’s crash landing. All the animals in the fields fell silent. In the yard, the hens were the first to react. They scuttled over to where Dotty lay grounded and dazed. Rosie followed and nudged Dotty. The hullabaloo alerted the farmer, who came out of his house to find out what the commotion was. When he saw Dotty he shook his head and went for the tractor and trailer. The other animals silently cleared the field.
The farmer came back and loaded Dotty onto the trailer, “What were you trying to do Dotty?” he asked.
Dotty opened an eye and a tear slipped out as she replied, “I was trying to fly.”
The farmer smiled “Don’t you know that pigs don’t fly?”
“So Rooh says but I so wanted to fly.” Dotty closed her eye and snorted up her tears.
“Let’s see what we can do,” the farmer replied, as he drove them back to the barn.
The farmer was from a long line of inventors and he had a plan. Inside the barn there was a vast array of contraptions or, as he liked to call them, inventions. He banged and clattered around the barn for quite some time before he found what he wanted. He emerged from the barn with a motorised set of wheels attached to a set of wings and a tail fin. “You’re not the only one with dreams Dotty.”
Dotty raised her head and her heart lifted. Her injuries forgotten, she jumped off the trailer and her tail wriggled with excitement. The farmer went back inside the barn and returned with a can of fluid, a harness pack and some goggles. He poured liquid from the can into a tank that was towards the rear of the machine. He held out the harness pack and goggles to Dotty, “Here, put these on.”
Once Dotty was ready the farmer kicked the starter and the machine groaned, coughed then spluttered before it fell silent. The farmer tinkered with the engine and kicked the starter again and this time the machine sprung into life. “There,” he said in satisfaction.
The farmer pushed the machine further out into the field as Dotty trotted on behind. “Hop on Dotty,” the farmer encouraged.
Dotty jumped into the seat and the farmer strapped her in. Over the top of the noise from the machine the farmer pointed to two levers and shouted, “You steer with these,” then he pointed to a button as he continued, “and when you’re ready to land press that and she’ll bring you home.”
Then the farmer pressed the launch button and stepped back.
The machine set off and sped across the bumpy field. It was a very rough ride for Dotty and she hung on as best she could, thankful that she was fastened on. The machine gained speed and the wings above Dotty’s head started to flap. Fearful of another crash Dotty closed her eyes tightly and gritted her teeth. When the ride became smoother, Dotty sneaked a peek through one eye. Her mouth fell open and both eyes almost popped out of her head as she saw the ground had started to disappear below her.
“I’m flying, I’m flying,” She squealed.
The whole farmyard looked up, as did the sheep, the cows and the pigs in the fields. Dotty was definitely flying! They watched her as she climbed, dived and looped the loop in the sky. The swallows swooped down to join her and in formation they all plunged and climbed, circled and dived together giving the whole farm an acrobatic display to rival any professional team. Dotty looked down at the patchwork of fields below her and smiled like she’d never smiled before.
All too soon it was time to return to the farm. Dotty waved a trotter in farewell to the swallows and then pressed the land button. The flying machine took over, turned around and descended back to the farm. As they landed a small parachute flowed out behind them and slowed them to a standstill.
The farmyard animals cheered and from the fields the sheep bleated, the cows mooed and the pigs grunted their loud praise of the little pig who had dared to think she could fly.

Kathryn Glynn

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