A New Papa Gnome Story
By Louis R. Sauer
Editor Carver Louis Means
Copyright June 2016
New Papa Gnome Story:
A Pig? A Squig!
Chapter One: Oink Johnson, Pig Fish.
Today Oink Johnson was Pig Fish. Actually he was just a pig that lived on the Means’ farm.
A pig, as in genus Sus.
As in the Suidae.*
In other words, “just” a domestic pig.
But don’t tell him that whatever you do! He is convinced he is a Pig Fish.
On Mondays and Tuesdays and most Wednesday you would find him down at the pond, swimming, snorkeling, surfing. Well, that is what he was imagining himself doing. On Thursdays he usually pretended to be a warthog and on Fridays, oh well, I am sure you get the picture!
But Oink was Sus Scrofa Domesticus Farmus Meanus. If you doubted that, just watch him race to the hog pen when Farmer Al dumps the evening garbage pails into ‘Ye Ole Pig Sty’.
*Suidea is a family of artiodactyl mammals commonly called “pigs“, hogs, or boars. In addition to numerous fossil species, up to sixteen extant species are currently recognized, classified into between four and eight genera. The family includes the domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus, in addition to numerous species of wild pig, such as the babirusa Babyrousa babyrussa and the warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus. All suids, or swine, are native to the Old World, ranging from Asia and its islands, to Europe, and Africa.
Chapter TWO: A Troll Takes a Toll (of sorts)
But on this particular Monday, while snorting up guppies and trying to “school” like the pond’s large Gold Fish. (Rather unsuccessfully) Oink noticed that there was a new presence at the far end of Mean’s Pond
At the far end, knee deep in the mud was a Columbie Troll!
His first thought was, “If it were Thursday, I’d be a warthog!”
But the Troll did not appear to be threatening, and being an innocent Pig Fish, Oink decided he could unobtrusively swim over and see why there was a Troll at Means’ Pond, of all places on earth.
Pretending to just be one of the larger gold fish, he mimicked swimming but he actually wadded and waddled – not in the least unobtrusive, I’m sure you would agree.
Looking up at the Troll, Oink gave him or it, he wasn’t sure, his best Pig Fish smile. The Toll pushed back his rope like hair as he asked in an even tone, “You are an even-toed ungulate, are you not?” (a pig)
Now Oink had never thought much about that before and the nature of the question so surprised him that he forgot about being a fish for a moment and lifted his front leg to check it out.
He had never tried to lift his leg enough to see his toes before nor try stand on just three legs either, and being a domestic pig (Fat in the middle, short stumpy legs) he of course tipped over.
The Troll tried not to laugh as Oink face-planted himself in the mud two more times as he tried to regain his footing. Once the pig was at last upright he added, “I say, are you quite alright?”
Oink finally righted himself and replied, “I think so. You do know you are talked to a Pig Fish, right?”
“Well, ah, yes, I suppose. Actually, I came because I need your help.”
“My help? I’m a fish, what can I do to help a Troll?”
“Quite so. But if you could, perhaps, ‘pretend’ to be a Pig, just for a few days, you could help me defeat Ma-Who.”
“Whoa, I’ve heard of that Dude from Imaginary Creature Authority! Yikes! Ma-Who, he’s like a bad guy.”
“I could make it worth your while. Do you like candy?”
“Candy? Did you say Candy, snort, snort? I’m all in!”
“And, ahem, all pig?”
“You bet! I can eat a lot, you know?”
*The “Toll” was the embarrassment of falling in the mud repeatedly, of course.
“I’m sure! Not a problem. Ma-Ha has authorized as much candy as it takes to send Ma-who’s mischief back to Pluto. Ma-Ha gives out candy, as I’m sure you have heard?”
“Who hasn’t? Now if we are going to be partners in this Gig, you need to talk to the Pig!” added Oink grinning broadly at his own cleverness.
Chapter Three: The Squig is Up!
“Well, perhaps I should introduce myself. I’m a Columbie Troll, and a fifth cousin, twice removed from none other than Lumley, a folk hero in LaaLaaland. Perhaps you have heard of him?”
“Hey, I can read!”
“Ok, that’s helpful. Now…”
“And I’m a twelfth cousin of Freddy the Detective. And we have a cat named Jinkx…”
“Ah, yes. Back to the point. We are Squigs and you are Pigs. Fine, I think we are all on the same page. Our variety of Troll , in the family of Squigish has rope for hair, I’m sure you have noticed?”
“I was going to ask. It looks like spaghetti, only thicker.”
“Yes, and that’s the problem. Ma-who put a curse on the Columies and our hair is thinning!” The Troll looked as if he was about to burst into tears.
“Wait, I thought he was on Pluto?”
“He is but he used a weapon called an Over-Thruster to hurl this space capsule. When we opened it, it said, “Repeat after me. All your rope hair will turn to spaghetti and then fall out. Your only hope is a pig. Good luck with that, Dumb mud!” and it was signed Ma-Who, Highest Emperor and Tyrant of Pluto.”
“Well, I hope no one repeated it.”
“We didn’t, put this Munchkin boy with blue hair was there that day and he said, “Dumb Mud?””*
“Gosh, that’s terrible!”
“Our friend called in a Wizard named Papaloopa. The other guy was busy with some Hobbit thing. Anyway, Papaloopa told us to find a pig, and if he was willing, to bring, and this would be YOU, to bring you to him and he would reverse the curse as he called it.”
“And you trust this Wizard?”
“Well, to confess, he is a bit odd. The other Wizard is tall, very stern and serious and has a long gray beard and looks the part. Papaloopa looks more like a wacky grandpa wearing a bathrobe over his underwear, but we are desperate! Please, will you help us?”
*He just did repeat it. But the Curse was already done , so no harm.
“You did say there would be candy?”
Reverse the Curse!
Lucky for Oink and the Columbie Troll, there was a remote station for the Underground Railroad not too far away. The Goodly Gnomes had arranged a little bit more comfortable rail car for this journey from Mean’s Farm to LaaLaaland.
After all, they had a stake in this too, who knows? If Columbie Trolls were to go bald, would the Gnomes beards fall out?
Upon arriving at the edge of the Deep Woods, only a few miles from the Whomping Willow Tree, a large entourage of Munchkins, Gnomes, and Columbie Trolls, along with a respectable representation of other Squigs and other respectable Imaginary Creatures, were waiting to great them. There was even a few Hobbits and an Equestrian Princess from another Tale!
The Green Dragon was busy with a boy and a lamp in another story, but James and his friend Henry were able to make it.
There was a roped off area for the dignitaries, which did not include me for reasons you have learned about in another story.
In the middle was a large shovel and a wizard’s Hat.
Perhaps I should interject at this point that the somewhat ‘different’ but beloved Wizard loved to make dramatic appearances.
As Oink and the Troll with the rope-turning-to-spaghetti hair entered the circle, Code Blue greeted them.
“Sorry, it was my fault. I didn’t know the last two words were magic.”
“That’s okay”, replied the Troll, patting his blue hair, “We have the pig. This is Oink Johnson, everyone!” he shouted.
The crowd cheered!
Oink looked around nervously, “You did say there’d be candy?”
At that moment the shovel, all by itself, began to shake, then vibrate and then… it started digging!
The crowd was awed to silence.
At first it dug one shovel full at a time. Then it increased its speed. Soon it was digging furiously! Deeper and deeper it went, kicking up quite a dust cloud!
Then it stopped abruptly and as the dust cleared, there, standing a few feet away, exactly where the tall wizard hat had been sitting, was the smiling wizard himself! Wearing the hat and smiling with joy at his trick he murmured, “Ah yes! The old shovel distraction trick.” Of course no one heard that, then loudly, “People of LaaLaaland, it’s time to Reverse the Curse!”
“But how, Papaloopa?” asked Code Blue who still felt terrible that he had read the palindrome.
“Simple! Have the Pig and the Squig step forward!”
Raising his beautifully carved walking stick overhead he continued, “It was a Magic Ma-who Palindrome that caused this curse and only something just as opposite can undo it. In this case we can’t ‘unsay’ it, but we do have a ‘saying’ that will undo it.”
Several Munchkins were heard to say, “Huh?”
Laughing the Wizard asked, “Are you ready Oink Johnson?”
The crowd became so quiet you could have heard a Pixie boomsee.
The Pig with the world’s best imagination relied, “Sir, I am. And don’t forget the candy!”
“Ma-who, wherever you are!” shouted Wizard Papaloopa. “It was a mean trick, but I have a Pig from a Means Farm (“best I could do”, he whispered to the pig) and with this ‘SAYING’ I hereby reverse the curse of baldness, hair-loss and rope turning to spaghetti. Ma-who your curse had an expiration in fine print, you said it would never be reversed until….
And so it was!
And so Oink not only got his fill of candy, but he out-did his own imagination! Oink enjoyed flying all over LaaLaaland and eating large volumes of candy which in LaaLaaland grows out like money wings. But money is about as useful as fleas on a dog (to the dog that is) and the pig soon grew tired of it. Besides tomorrow was Thursday and he had to be a Warthog back at Means farm.
So he asked the Wizard to take away the wings and send him back where he can be found, oh, today is Sunday, isn’t it? Well he’ll be in church, wearing his Sunday best, a 5 button vest and bow tie. He is a favorite of all the children because for some reason, the Sunday School Teacher always has a lot of candy to give away for answering the Bible questions well. (She says she doesn’t know how it gets in her desk, she doesn’t put it there, it must be Mrs. Means. But we know, don’t we?)
The Columbie Troll did not go bald. (Although it did stay spaghetti which he decided he liked better)
“Pig Fish and Columbies v.s. Ma-whos?” concluded the Troll, “Ma-Who loses! Ha, Ha, Ha!”