Just felt compelled to write this after reading about Richard Dawkins' opinions on Fairy Tales.

The Three Little Pigs for Richard Dawkins (Alternative title: Who's the Big Bad Wolf now?)
Retold by Holly T Burrows


Once upon a time there were three pigs who lived wild in the forest and a wolf who also spent his days deep in the dark woods.

The wolf was big, and arguably bad (although he was only behaving in the way his species has evolved to over many generations to ensure their survival). He was loping daintily through the trees – making barely a sound when he saw with his excellent eyesight, a pig, sitting in some straw. (One suspects that the straw had fallen from a passing truck and the pig was more likely a wild boar but it’s hard to tell from a distance.) The wolf stopped, not making a sound and slowly crept towards the pig. Usually his pack would be following him but for some unknown reason on this occasion he was alone. And he was hungry.

The pig had not yet seen the wolf and snuffled happily amidst its house of hay. The wolf snuck closer and closer until finally he pounced on the unsuspecting swine which squealed, alas too late, for the jaws of the hound were fastened tight into the pink flesh of the pig. The pig put up a fight but was no match for the wolf who made a hasty kill before dragging the pig’s body back into the woods where he could enjoy his feast.

Time passed and the wolf continued his journey. He had rejoined his pack and they were lazing companionably in the sunlight which was filtered prettily by the leaves of the surrounding trees. Leaves which were photosynthesising so that the wolves (and other living creatures) could stay alive by breathing oxygen. The wolf that we have thus far been following pricked up his ears. He had heard a rustling in the bushes and it sounded tasty. He stood up and was followed by a number of the other wolves now all set to find, chase, kill and eat.

Once again the wolves’ senses picked out amidst the twigs a wild boar – its snout snuffling along the ground. The wolves crept closer and closer but a slight snap of a twig under a paw gave them away and the boar started to run. But what match a single, small boar for a pack of wolves! They gave chase and split, hounding the animal from all sides. Their hearts were pounding as they rounded in on the lonely creature who now could do nothing but fall at their jaws and try to fight. But there were too many wolves with canines made to slice and bite which trotters cannot beat. The pack ate well that evening and the cubs played by their mothers, satiated by milk.

The wolves were travelling to the edge of the woods – a land of danger, inhabited by humans but also a land of farms and plentiful food. Beyond the fields was a small brick building inhabited by a large, fat pig. The scent was strong and the pig, feeling protected by the brick walls and also having no knowledge of what fearful creatures existed outside of it’s farmyard, noisily ate from a bucket and rolled happily in mud. The wolves could smell this large piece of meat and so they crept closer under cover of dark. The pig knew nothing but still, some instinct called it to stop still. Canine scents in the night air travelled to his snout and he shuffled nervously. The wolves were now in the yard, tongues lolloping out the sides of mouths and paws now tapping on washed concrete floors. The hens started to flap – they too had instinct enough to feel the presence of danger. The farm dog, who one might think should have been their brother, howled and barked unsure of what was happening. He stood and barked some more to wake the master. And the master did awake in a blaze of yellow light through curtained windows. A yellow square of light which cast distorted wolf-like shadows over the farmyard floor. The master shouted and opened the window and the wolves turned and ran away for there are some creatures for whom teeth and claws are just a challenge to be taken away by metal and machines. The master pointed a long black thing out of the window and there was a short, sharp bang. The farmyard became a palace of noise and amongst it a wince from a wolf who limped away into the darkness. Further shots were fired into the night. But the wolves had gone. Spots of blood decorated the washed concrete. The dog sniffed the blood and licked it. His master patted him on the head and kicked his food bowl closer to him.

Master looked into the brick building where the pig cowered, frightened in the corner. ‘It’s alright you.’ He said, ‘Glad they didn’t lay a paw on you I am. You’ll be making me a wage at the market on Friday. Good sausages too no doubt.’