a short story by Paul Sohar
His normal, wingless cousins used to tease Piggy-Wingy until one day at a family picnic it seemed to him more than loving banter, and he tried to fly away from them, rising above the backyard picnic table, above the clothesline, above the blooming lilac bush.
“Piggy-Wingy,” his mother yelled at him, “behave yourself!”
Piggy-Wingy was a good boy, he knew his duty: he slowly descended and landed on the lawn.
That night his mother tied up Piggy-Wingy’s wings under a tight shirt, and from then on he was not to show his wings in public, not even in a locker room. Being a good piggy, Piggy-Wingy never attempted to fly again, and from then on his cousins treated him like one of them.
Then one day Piggy-Wingy went into a bar, and look: most of the pigs there sported wings, freely exposed. They were all talking about flying, and so Piggy-Wingy asked them if it was all right to fly, and where, and how, and how far. His stupid questions so infuriated the other winged pigs that they turned on him and cut off his wings.
At the next family picnic Piggy-Wingy took off his shirt to show his cousins that he was free of wings, no longer an offensive sight to the family. But he was told to cover up his wounds, put the shirt back on, go to his room, and never to show his face again.
Piggy-Wingy was kept in his room until Thanksgiving, when he was invited back to the dinner table. He came, but with his face cut off. He explained that he had started the lawnmower, turned it upside down, and put his face into the swirling rage of the blade. His mother immediately called 911. They took Piggy-Wingy away to a farm for pigs with their wings and/or faces cut off, a storage facility for the crippled and dying.
His family never saw him again, and they still believe he’s well and alive there, unless he’s run away and got shot by a hunter. Or else the whole area was blasted by a nuclear device. Piggy-Wingy had dreams about that, and sometimes dreams do come true.
But why end the story on such a sour note? Mainly because that was how Piggy-Wingy felt, and he did run away from the farm, hoping to get shot by a hunter. But he didn’t encounter one for days in the forest, and finally he headed for a village, expecting it would surely have a sheriff with a shotgun which he would not hesitate to use it on the unwelcome intruder. The village, however, turned out to be not an ordinary one but a refuge set up by other runaway flying pigs with broken wings: in effect the loving family he’d always yearned for.
He no longer wanted to die. On the contrary, he was eagerly looking forward to flying again and living in a city where flying pigs were not only welcome but hailed as heroes.
How about this ending? Fake news? Why not?
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