The first half of this weekend’s mashup is the International Day of Happiness, a day recognized by the UN since 2013. I confess I started reading The World Happiness Report with a little skepticism. The WHR measures and ranks nations along life evaluations, and I grunted along as they listed GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy and freedom from corruption as some of the criteria, and only felt more encouraged when I saw variables like generosity, trust, social support, and my personal favorite, having someone to count on.
You can read up on the 8th World Happiness Report here, but don’t stay in the metrics too long and forget to celebrate with whatever warms your heart, like, hmmm, how about a mashup of the Three Little Pigs? I love the hard work gets rewarded allegory in the original, but not so much the idea of punishing pigs for doing things differently or vilifying and boiling to death wolves for huffing and puffing. I mean, isn’t eating pigs what wolves have to do for their livelihood, and why is it okay to kill wolves and not even eat them?
So now without further ado, One Little Pig (F):
Once upon a time, three little pigs set out into the world to make their own way. They had heard stories about the big bad wolf that blew down houses and ate its residents. So they took all the precautions to protect themselves, building houses that would keep the wolf out.
Years went by until one day, a wolf finally came.
“Little pig, little pig, let me in,” said the wolf outside the brick house.
The pig, Brick, shook his head as he looked at the wolf through the video alarm system.
“First of all,” he said through the speakerphone. “You started at the wrong house. My house is as solid as brick. You’ll never get in. And second of all, I’m not little.”
The wolf took a step back and looked at the house. It was loaded with tech protection. Brick was right and so was the story. No one would ever be able to get into a house made of bricks. The wolf shuffled over to the next house, conjuring up a way to get in.
“Big pig, big pig, let me in,” the wolf tried different language.
The pig in the stick house didn’t have a video alarm system but he could see the wolf through the fonts between the sticks in his house. The wolf had a paunch and looked well fed. That seemed suspicious. Wolves were normally skinny. This one didn’t look as if it needed a meal at all.
“First of all, my house has been carefully designed so even if you start huffing and puffing, your blows will simply go through it. You’ll never get in,” said Stick. “And second of all, I’m not big.”
The wolf could not see whether or not the pig was big but it was true that the zen sticks were lined to perfection and that it was so tired that it didn’t have what it took to blow the house down. Disappointed again, the wolf made its way to the straw pig’s house, wracking its wolf brain for a new strategy that would not define a pig as little or big.
“Knock, knock,” said the wolf.
“Wolf,” said the wolf.
“Big bad wolf?”
“No, just Wolf,” said the wolf. “Please let me in.”
A long pause followed before Straw replied. She too saw the wolf’s paunch through the gaps in the straw. She too thought it strange that Wolf would come to her last. She studied Wolf a little bit longer and then gave her thoughtful response.
“Of course you can come in,” said Straw. “But first can you go to the back of the house and put some more logs on the fire?”
Wolf was puzzled. Was it the straw pig that murdered the wolf in the end? Too hungry to remember, Wolf hesitated, and in the pause, Straw spoke again.
“And one more thing,” she added. “Make sure you listen to my music until the very end.”
With no alternative, Wolf was compliant. Dragging its legs to the back of the house, it was loading the logs in the fire when it heard the eerie melody float out of the straw house and draw out Brick and Stick from their houses. It was strange to see the pigs carrying baskets in their trotters, and stranger still to see they were headed straight to Straw’s main door.
Now all Wolf had to do know was attack one of the pigs. In mind, it was doing just that, devouring the pig in front of the house. But in body, it waited, stomach growling, for the music to end. A promise was a promise.
It took a long time for the music to end. And when it finally did, Wolf staggered to the front door. Blind with hunger, it asked to be let in again.
Wolf expected nothing. In all of history, pigs did not open doors for wolves. But in all old stories, the pig in the straw house was the weakest pig. Straw wasn’t that pig.
“Come in,” she said. “While you replenished the fire and listened to the whole piece, I prepared the food the pigs brought over and talked to them.”
At the table sat Brick who was actually little and Stick who was actually chubby. Now they were at a close enough range to attack, but once again Straw interrupted Wolf’s thoughts.
“We have enough food for everyone,” she said, “including the cubs you are hiding in your girth.”
So in the end, that was how Wolf and her two cubs shared a meal with the three little pigs. And this, all because the straw house was the easiest house to get in and because one little pig saw it fit to change the story.