Freshman year, interpersonal communication: Re-tell a fable. I tried. You decide.
Once upon a time, there was a medium-sized, maligned wolf. Specifically, he was called the "Big Bad Wolf". This made him very sad and insecure, since he was neither big nor bad. He thought that he was nice in both size and disposition. Instead of being known as the Big Bad Wolf, he wished that he could be called by his real name, Stanley. Unfortunately, no one else in the forest even knew he had another name.
One day, Stanley heard that he had new neighbors, three little pigs. Optimistic that they had not heard of him yet, he bounded over to where they were building their new houses. He was hopeful that he could reach them, before his flawed reputation did, and make a good impression.
He found the first of the pigs lounging outside a house under construction. Hopeful, Stanley started to sprint towards him. However, it seemed as though it was too late. For as soon as he caught glimpse of Stanley, the pig dropped his magazine, leapt up from his chaise lounge, and ran into the partial straw framework of the house. Stanley was saddened to see him go. He ran up to the house, and knocked on the door.
"Little pig, little pig, let me in! Please let me in," he cried out as he knocked, "I want to meet you!"
Pigs, as you may know, are hard of hearing at some times, especially at times of great fear. They had heard word of the Big Bad Wolf, and to be meeting him in person greatly frightened and intimidated them. So to the pig in the house, Stanley was shouting, "I want to eat you!" When the pig tried to shout back, "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" he was too confused, misunderstanding and frightened to muster up anything louder than a mumble.
Stanley could not hear the pig. He kept knocking on the door. Another thing you may not know about pigs is that they often use sub–code construction techniques. This pig had been especially lazy and was building a very shoddy house. Stanley did not know this either. As an unfortunate and preventable consequence of these, Stanley’s knocking began to shake the whole house frame. All of the straw shaking made Stanley start to sneeze—he was allergic.
"I’ll huuuhhh . . . I’ll puHuhhh . . . I’ll—ACHOOOOO!" Stanley stammered and sneezed, and the straw walls were torn from the foundation. For a moment the pig stood in front of him, but before Stanley could recover from the sneeze the pig had run away, shrieking.
Stanley was further saddened. He started to follow the pig’s path through the woods, whereupon he came upon another clearing. Another pig was also building a house there, this time with a wooden frame.
Remembering his encounter with the first pig, Stanley became understandably nervous. He reached into his pockets—of course he has pockets. Why do you question a wolf with pockets, and not a screaming pig?—and pulled out a cigarette and matches. He lit the cigarette and slowly approached the house. Inside he could hear the two pigs talking.
"He wanted to eat me!" One was saying. "Then he said he’d huff and he’d puff and he blew my entire house down!"
Stanley twitched at this accusation, and he dropped the cigarette. It fell down next to the house, and started to smolder. He attempted to put it out, and knocked his elbow against the door. Hearing this, the pigs were startled.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAH," the pigs screamed, oblivious to the soon–to–be blaze outside their door. "He’s back!"
Frantically Stanley tried to put out the ensuing fire, to no avail. He started to blow on it, but it did not go out. He tried again, blowing harder, but the fire only burned brighter. Finally, he mustered up all the wind he could, and in one great breath, blew with everything he could. He blew the fire out, and blew the house out too—out into the woods. In shock, the pigs sprinted away, squealing.
Stanley was greatly disheartened by these two episodes. He went home, and pouted retrospectively on how he could come back to good terms with the pigs. Remembering there was a third pig, he decided to try once more to make a good impression on them. He ransacked his closets to find a gift to take them, finally settling on an old electric fan. The pigs will like this, he thought, since it’s going to be a very hot summer this year.
With fan in hand, Stanley headed again into the woods, past both former sites of the pigs’ houses. Both places were deserted, so he continued down the path. It was rapidly getting dark, so Stanley started to run. He kept running until he arrived at a clearing, in the middle of which was a brick house. By this time Stanley was very much out of breath and very sweaty. He sat down next to the house to cool down, and noticed an electrical socket. So Stanley plugged in the fan and turned it on. He sat under an open window, and could hear the three pigs talking inside. One, obviously the first he’d met, was telling his story again.
"First he came to my house, and huffed and puffed and blew my house down! Then he came to Francis’s house and he set it on fire and blew it down too! I tell you, this Big Bad Wolf is trouble!" Stanley cringed. "You’d better watch out for him!" When he cringed, he nudged the fan, turning it upwards toward the window. It blew the curtains of the window, and the pigs noticed he was outside.
"OH NO! He’s here to blow your house down!" One of the pigs screamed.
Before Stanley could say anything, the pigs closed the windows and the curtains, and he heard them double–bolt the door. Dejected he sat back down, trying to think of how he could get into the house to introduce himself properly. His gaze shifted upward, and Stanley noticed the chimney. Knowing he was trim and fit from his morning jogs through the forests, Stanley decided he’d climb down the chimney to meet the pigs. He climbed up the drainpipe, across the roof, and climbed down the chimney. In his haste, Stanley failed to notice the steam emanating from it. He continued to fail to notice it until he reached the boiling pot at the bottom. Singed and steam–burnt, he quickly clambered out of the chimney, off of the roof, and ran back to his house, never to visit the pigs again. Never again did Stanley try to set the record straight with anyone about his name, and eventually he died several years later as the Old Big Bad Wolf. The pigs lived mostly happily ever after, until a tornado came and destroyed their home.
If you really want to know the morals of this story, here they are: Be careful around construction sites; be careful where you smoke; and be careful around steam, because where there’s steam there’s fire.
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