Miss Veronica was a showy piggie. She loved to dress up in ostentatious outfits, so pretty. Her little blue hat atop her porky head, her frilly neck collar around her neck, her dainty bow around her tail so curly, why, she was as gorgeous as she could be. With a slick of red lipstick upon her smackers, she was perfect to be presented to whomever she was pass by or wander. No one could ever imagine within was an introverted piggie who was trembling at the drawn attention. Her dress ups aided her in being more confident and self assured. Forcing herself into the limelight, she would squirm inwardly, slightly, but then bolstering herself in these moments, she hardened herself, and became stronger, an outer shell presented so protectively. And the more she wore her attention seeking garb, the more confident she felt, the garish outfits soon became a second skin, and she felt calmer, reposed, and appreciated within, a sense of personal growth throughout.
Miss Veronica the Piggie enjoyed going to the market on Wednesday, for it was her one day off, and there was much fresh produce, knick-knacks, jewellery, and foods on sale and display, for a pig, more than enough. She enjoyed walking along the aisles, taking in the feverish atmosphere that sometimes accompanied some stalls, the fervent scent of an imminent sale, as the seller and buyer called. She grinned to herself whenever the stall owners’ gaze would flicker to her, taking in her outfit, her confidence, heart and pride would swell more and more. Then she would move on, to enjoy other food or observe other knick-knack delights, she drew the attention of many others, but never caused a startle nor a fright.
Veronica’s favourite part of the market was where they deemed which animal was best in show. This was one of the other reasons why she dressed up, secretively, why she spent time upon her appearance the most. And the reason she went to the Wednesday shows was because she was only just beginning participating in such shows, the Saturday versions were much larger and of greater competition, and the thoughts of such a larger crowd and amount of competitors admittedly scared Miss Veronica, even though she was such a pretty sow. When she had commenced entering the competitions, she had been greatly lacking in her self confidence, but this had been fine, she was working on it through the Wednesday show system.
Firstly, the animals were lined up, presented forth to the crowd by name. Then they were weighed, and measured for girth and height, and allowed to perform up to two tasks or impressive tricks to the crowd to be seen. Miss Veronica only had one finely honed skill, and this was to hoola hoop around her portly hips, for over five minutes, this was her drill. Although the crowd was initially impressed, by the two minute mark they were lulled into boredom, but blessed was Veronica to be able to hoola hoop for so long. Instead of wasting the opportunity of presenting a second talent, as an impromptu, she took upon the stage and sung her favourite song by Pig Schneider, “Back in the Habit”.
She didn’t win the talents round, and she didn’t win the show, but this was not worth mentioning other than in passing, for the show caused Veronica an outward glow. The ability to stand, being presented, on stage, when initially she was so embarrassed and shy and ashamed, now being here in her garb so unique, showing off her eccentric style, her goal was complete. And ready herself to depart the market and show, when a little piggie, tiny in stature, approached Veronica, so daintily.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” he emitted, for that was only what one could call it. His tiny little voice sounded like a tiny verbal beacon for an ant army. Veronica did not notice him and turned to walk away.
“Veronica? Miss Veronica?” he pressed more forcefully, tugging on her tail’s finery. Startled, she lowered her eyes to him.
“Yes?” she asked kindly. She was never approached at the market, never addressed, this was strange to her, a certain feeling caused an appreciative tingle within.
“I couldn’t help noticing you in the show,” he went on to say. “You were admirable, fabulous, I loved your song choice. Do you think I could take you out on a date?” His eyes shone with hope, and he wished his request had not been made too late. For he had seen the way the other members of the audience shone with admiration, and something else too, which he could not put his finger on, he would have to perform some research.
“Oh my!” Veronica said, placing a trotter, shocked, before her mouth. “Of course, I would love too, I’ll meet you tonight at the pub down south.” Little Piggie grinned a grateful smile, he would be seen with this beauty, for much of a while, and together they would eat, and sing, and hopefully dance, why what a glorious evening that was promised, perhaps they’d hold trotters as they pranced. As they parted ways in the crowd, each saying they greatly looked forward to meeting one another in the pub down south, near Vermouth’s Mouth, Little Piggie overheard a conversation between two farmers from the show’s crowd.
“That winner, mmm, I’m looking forward to that bovine for dinner,” one growled. The other chuckled in return. “These silly animals don’t know they are sending themselves in for assessment, why don’t we just make the process more obvious?”
“But then they wouldn’t come,” the other exclaimed. “And it would be less fun, at least we are allowing them a final moment to enjoy their Life’s run.” Then the men cackled together most evilly, and headed off to the van which provided hot drinks for a spot of peppermint tea.
Shocked, aghast, utterly horrified, Little Piggie rushed around the market trying to decipher what he’d heard and seen with his very ears and eyes. From what it sounded like, the show wasn’t an innocent play on the notion of a beauty pagent, it was instead a sinister means of procuring an animal victim for human consumption, a means of fooling the lot of them. He must spread the word now, it must be so, it must be done, and rushing forth to the marketplace’s microphone, he screamed this aloud:
“Fellow animals, LISTEN TO ME! Do not enter the human’s show ever again, unless you wish the chance to never again be seen. They are looking for victims, to grace their plates for lunch and tea! Now, come now, leave, leave, and never here again be seen!” With this came great confusion, animals running here, rushing there, here, there and everywhere, eyes bulging, obscenely frightened, a catastrophe, a cacophony, and then Little Piggie was swooped away by unseen arms, and taken to a darkened, damp holding room. He was held there initially for the night, then questioned harshly for three days and nights, and ultimately missed out on his evening date with Miss Veronica.
He could not contact her, he did not know what to do, all he could do was imagine her sitting sadly, eyes wistfully flickering to the doorway whenever movement could be seen. And then by the time the kitchen would close, he imagined her dejectedly leaving, her stooped shoulders a heavy pose, and returning home sob sorrowfully would she, whilst she removed her precious fineries.
But they would meet again, coincidentally passing by one another in the street, and Little Piggie would share his tale, and over coffee, many others, of his life’s goals and inner dreams, and the more that Little Piggie opened up to her, the stronger their connection did grow, appreciative at being trusted and her company wanted, Veronica’s heart now felt utterly replete, she was one joyous sow.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.