And one day, something just snapped in me.
Making my 4th or was it 5th trip to refill the trough, so that they could dip their piggy snouts in at yet another meal, I realised I’d had enough.
I looked at the 3 of them, sprawled on the sofa, engrossed in some wolf shoot em up, muddy trotters leaving tracks across my newly hoovered sty.
I saw my library book and reading glasses buried under an avalanche of crisp packets, dirty plates, half eaten sandwiches and I made my pronouncement.
” pigs, it’s time you left home ”
Nothing happened, the if eyes didn’t even leave the screen.
I walked slowly over the the television and pulled out the plug, I was surprised at how good it felt.
“What did you have to do that for?”
“We were almost on a new level”
Now I knew I had their attention, I took my time, looked each of them in the eye and said it again
“Pigs, it’s time you left home”
There was a pause and then the excuses started
“Didn’t I know there was a recession on?”
“Didn’t I love them anymore?”
“Who was going to make their tea?”
But I held firm, ignored the tears, the cajoling, the subtle ( and not so subtle) emotional blackmail.
I reminded them that they were all in the 20s, told them that living in their own homes meant never washing up again, dangled the carrot of all night play station extravaganzas, even hinted that not living with mom might make them more attractive to sows.
And finally, they were ready to go.
I stood at the front door, waving a little handkerchief, trying hard to look somber while all the time I could visualise my tidy home, book left exactly where I had placed it and an endless supply of clean cups.
It was an effort not to smile in anticipation.
And off they went, clutching the seed money their father, the old bore, and I had given them, with instructions to build their own homes, stay away front the wolf and get on with the rest of their lives.
I didn’t hear anything for a few days, which to be honest was a bit of a surprise, but I guessed that they hadn’t run out of clean plates, forks or pants by then and I was luxuriating in a house that always had milk, that stayed the same if I went out and was as silent or as noisy as I wanted it to be, so I didn’t really put too much energy into worry and besides the old bore and I, well, lets just say, were rediscovering some of our mis spent youth.
So, I only learnt the whole story long after it happened and by that time, the boys had been able to make it into a tale, put a good spin on it, show themselves in the best light.
Son 1, our firstborn, big, pink, shiny, but, lets face it, no porcine Einstein, fell at the first hurdle. I can just see him, piling up straw bales, spending more time connecting his Internet than fixing the roof.
Well, it must have been a gift to the wolf, not so much huff and puff, more I’ll just lean on here and see what happens and of course the house fell in and of course he runs to his brother,but I bet he didn’t forget to take his smartphone.
Son 2, the middle one, with his HND in business studies and his talk of bedroom start ups and get rich quick schemes, well he meant to do a good job, meant to build a sturdy wolf proof house, but, I know how he operates to, lots of enthusiasm and interest at the start, tailing off into some half hearted,almost finished, nearly good enough end product.
It reminded me of his project days at Junior School, all those Tudor houses I finished, the scale model off the spinning Jenny I was still working on at 4am on the day it needed to be handed in and my proudest moment, a representation of the digestive system constructed from cake.
I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed about the mark we got for that.
So, he cobbled his house together, has just had time to sit down, boil the kettle for a pot noodle, when his brother came haring across the field and just behind him of course was Mr Wolf, the original big & bad, and now actually a bit annoyed as he could see his dinner plans could actually move quite fast for a fat pig.
It only took Mr Wolf seconds to blow down the house of sticks.
The brothers had no choice, they ran as fast as they could towards the last house standing, the house of bricks.
Son number 3, the baby, the one I should love the most, good, quiet, hardworking ( well at least compared to his brothers) and if I’m being completely honest, just a little tiny bit dull.
The pig who made the house of bricks, the pig who saved the day, the pig who killed the wolf.
And afterwards, when the boys all decide to share the house of bricks and the windows vibrate with dub step/pig step and only thing left to eat cereal out of is a vase and clean pants are just a memory, when son number 3 comes to visit and looks around my neat little sitting room, nothing out of place, food in the fridge and radio borsetshire in the background and I see the hunger for order in his little piggy eyes, I do sometimes wonder, if just occasionally, he wishes the wolf had got his brothers and eaten them all up.