hungry, a story

Katherine Phelps Copyright February 1998


He should have known that it would end as it had begun.

It was as if the universe of his life had reached its limits, only to unwind itself into that first moment, then...


The wolf's great and knawing hunger had become a force like a raging hurricane. So he sought forced entry into that brick edifice of the third little piggy, down that unbirth canal of the chimney, and into the scalding death womb of the soup pot.

What else could he have done? The social pressures and expectations of his life had formed a well worn groove for his behaviour. Wolves eat pigs. A simple and often satisfactory equation. Any thoughts of stepping out of this paradigm had been squashed as a child. Wolves do NOT eat chickens, wolves do NOT eat peacocks, wolves do NOT eat rhinoceros. Wolves eat only porcine creatures.

In the brief moments of his descent when he was between falling and realising his death, he felt a freedom he had never known before. Then drops of hot water beaded on the tips of his fur. Warmth enveloped him. Then the searing pain. And then, and then, and then...

Rebirth! As he shot back up through the chimney as naked as the day he was born.