Three Little Pigs retold in Austenean Style

13 02 2012

Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme

  And monkeys chewed tobacco,

  And hens took snuff to make them tough,

  And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single wolf in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a pig.

However, little is known about the feelings of both the Wolf and the Pig at the moment of their acquaintance and the very development of what later unavoidably leads to a happy union.

Mrs Sow Pig-Bennet suddenly realised that her sweet little piglets Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia were of the proper age to find descent Wolves and start the life of the housewives of their own. These thoughts are quite troubling for every mother, as long as Longbourne, a farm where Mrs Pig-Bennet lived with her husband and children, was by all means quite an average real estate in the middle of the most provincial countryside one could only imagine. In this situation nothing left to poor Mrs Sow than to tell her dearest daughter-pigs now they had to start building their houses without any serious hope some decent wolf would come around and huff and puff on these houses. However, it is better to try than to regret you never dared trying, isn’t it? And so three little pigs started building their houses in hope they would attract attention of some interesting bachelor.

Lydia was the youngest of them and the most creative, even though not the smartest one. She found some straw and made a lovely little house of it. In this house Ms. Lydia Pig-Bennet could drink tea with her friends and dream of a wolf charming once passing by. And that was what happened, indeed.

Mr Wolf Wickham soon appeared in the neighbourhood. As a true Victorian gentleman he had very much money and very few things to do but to travel from village to village and huffing and puffing and the young pigs’ houses.

As soon as Mr Wickham so a lovely straw-house of Ms. Pig-Bennet, he felt an eager desire somewhere at the very depth of his soul to try huffing and puffing it. And so he said to the the little pig:

“Little Lydia, little Lydia, let me come in!”

Oh how happy she was, the little Lydia, that a wolf first saw her and not her elder sisters! What an indecent pleasure it gave her, the knowledge that she was definitely more interesting and appealing to a wolf than her snobbish smart sisters! However, every proper pig knows what is allowed and what is prohibited for a well-bred young pig to do, and, though her heart was trembling with exultant expectation, little Lydia answered:

“No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.”

The wolf then realised that Lydia was quite into playing with him, and of course he answered to that:

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

And so he huffed and he puffed and – oh, what a misfortune! The straw house of poor Lydia was completely broken, and she had nothing more that would protect her against the greedy looks of Mr Wolf Wickham. “Isn’t it great?” – thought the little pig and ran away with the wolf, what, of course, was far beyond the borders of what a well-bred pig could allow to happen.

The other little pig was Jane and she was indeed much cleverer than her poor careless sister Lydia. For her own house she used a bundle of furze, and as soon as the house was ready it turned out, one more wolf entered the neighbourhood. This was quite an interesting candidate indeed! Mr Wolf Bingley has even purchased a house of Netherfield near Longbourne and near the place where three little pigs were building their own houses. Oh how happy she would be, the little Jane, if she would somehow draw attention of such a party! And so she sat in her little house and waited till Mr Bingley would probably come round. This is what happened indeed.

First he bowed in a very gallant manner, and the little pig answered with a curtsey. In order to support and develop this success Mr Wolf took little Jane to dance, and there they were swaying in the waves of a refined country music when he finally said:

“Oh my dear little Jane, let me come in.”

“No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.” – She answered, as she was of course taught how to behave with a gentleman.

“Then I’ll puff, and I’ll huff, and I’ll blow your house in.”

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last he blew her little house down. Jane was so glad to see him being so purposeful, and she decided to write a letter to her dear sister Elizabeth when Mr Wolf Bingley turned round and disappeared in early morning fog somewhere there where behind the horizon the big farm of London lay.

The heart of the poor little pig was completely broken! She spent days and nights weeping and scolding herself for being such a snobbish pig and not showing Mr Wolf how much she cared about him! Couldn’t she build her house of straw or what?

There was one more wolf that appeared in the neighbourhood just at the same time with Mr Bingley. This one was called Mr Bad Bad Wolf Darcy, and everybody said quite soon the world has never seen more snobbish and unpleasant wolf before. What a pity for little Elizabeth that he paid his attention on her!

One day he stood there in front of her house made of lovely pink brick and said:

“My dear not-beloved little pig! Your parents neither have a good fortune to provide you with nice dowry, nor did they have enough brain to bring you up in a proper way. Your elder sister Jane was silly enough to fall in love with Bingley and your other sister was even sillier to run away with Wickham, and so she dishonoured the whole family. I hardly see why I should pay my attention to the pig with such a background as yours, but as long as I am such a true gentleman, I’d still like to try and propose. Would you like to let me come in and marry you and bore you with my snobbism forever and ever?”

“I’d rather hang myself than allow you to do that to me!” – Little brave Lizzy answered.

Mr Darcy was disappointed and charmed at the same time: what a pride and what a temper this lovely little pig had! However, it was more than clear he behaved like a true swine (though he was a wolf), and there was hardly anything in the world that would improve the image of him poor little Lizzy got.

And so he didn’t huff and he didn’t puff, but he went away and did not come back for a very long time. What he did was he found the poor silly Lydia and her Wolf Wickham and brought them back in Longbourne and forced them to marry in a decent way. Then he got to London and brought back his friend Bingley and forced him to beg for Jane’s pardon and then marry her. Finally, he wrote a touching but very immodest letter to Elizabeth in order to show her what sacrifices he had to make in order to deserve her attention.

By this time Lizzy had enough time to think over her behaviour to Mr Bad Bad Wolf Darcy. She suddenly realised to her own dread that she had never been impartial to him. Oh, how cruel she was! Then she got the letter from Mr Darcy and she first cried for a fortnight and then she understood what she had to do. A brave little pig bough some dynamite and blew up her lovely house made of pink brick.

When Bad Bad Wolf Darcy finally visited her again, she was sitting there among the broken bricks in a great mess waiting for him. How happy they were to see each other! Do you know what happened next? Right you are! Mr Bad Bad Wolf married Elizabeth Pig-Bennet and they lived happily ever since.