Some of you are familiar with the Christmas tradition that is the Earless Pig. After all, last year, I told you all about the Earless Pig. But some of you are still unfamiliar with the Earless Pig. Perhaps a day will come when it’s not necessary for me to tell you the story, when the pig will be as famous as Rudolph, but until that time comes, you can come here for the story.
The Earless Pig
Like most animal statuary, the cement piglet looked forward to the day that he would sit proudly in someone’s garden. Until then, he waited in the garden department at the local boxstore, pestering his father, as shoppers passed him by. “Daddy,” he asked, repeatedly, “when will it be my turn?” And his father, a wise, old pig would answer, “Soon, my son,” patting the little piglet on the head, “Soon.”
The piglet tried to be patient, but it was hard. “Daddy, when will it be my turn?”
“Soon, my son. Soon.”
But life can be cruel sometimes. And so can the teenaged boys who worked in the garden department. Perhaps it was an accident, just like the teenage clerk explained. Perhaps when the bricks tumbled off the pallet, clipping the piglet in the head, shearing off his ears, perhaps it really was an accident.
It didn’t matter. Looking in the mirror, the pig knew the truth. No one would buy an earless pig. Statuary sales were brisk that year, but the earless pig was stuck in the clearance bin. The teenaged clerk laughed whenever he passed by the lonely pig. The pig only wished the bricks that had removed his outer ears had rendered him deaf. It couldn’t get any worse, the pig thought. Then, the clerk had an idea, replacing the awful sign above the pig’s earless head.
CLEARANCE had been shameful enough. Now, all the customers laughed when they saw the lonely pig, sitting alone in THE AISLE OF MISFIT STATUARY.
Christmas carols wafted through the store, shoppers hustling and bustling, eager to complete their holiday errands. The pig watched from his place in the clearance bin, his porcine heart breaking. Still, he put on a brave face. “When will it be my turn?” His father, long departed to a rhododendron garden in the suburbs, the pig’s question went unanswered now. It seemed so very long ago, but there was a small place, deep inside the cement pig, a place where hope still lived.
A young boy came down the aisle. “Are we done yet?”
“Soon, my son. Soon.” And the man patted his son on the head. “I just need to find one more thing.”
“How about that?” the boy asked, pointing to the earless pig.
The man laughed. “That’s perfect.”
The pig heard the man laugh, but this time it was different. There was a lightness to his laugh, a joy. And just like that, they picked the pig up off the shelf and placed him carefully in their shopping cart.
Unable to contain his excitement, it was all the earless pig could do not to go wee wee wee all the way home. But he was a private sort of pig, a cement pig, and he never showed his emotions. Under the circumstances, he allowed himself the slightest smile.
He was going home. The pig was nearly dying of anticipation. What kind of home was he going home to? It seemed like forever, there in the car. But when he got to the house, the people shoved him in a bag, nearly suffocating the little pig with paper.
And that was it. His hopes, his dreams… a real home… why had they bothered to buy him, if all they were going to do with him was toss him in a bag and forget about him? It was nearly Christmas and he was worse off than he was in the boxstore. After waiting for months on the clearance shelf, even a day alone in the bag was more than the little pig could manage. Never had the pig known such despair…
The humans were speaking in some sort of code.
Earless and buried under pounds of paper, the pig could only guess at what might be happening in the world beyond his paper prison.
There was a great commotion and suddenly the little pig could feel himself being lifted up, the paper being torn away, the crowd cheering. Squinting in the sudden light, the pig looked around the room. The Christmas tree… the mountain of gifts… the pig couldn’t make sense of the Bingo part, but sure as he was a cement pig, it was Christmas eve and he had just become a Christmas gift. Better still, a Christmas prize.
When the party ended, the pig went home with his new family. And it really was home.
And that, of course, is where our story should end, the earless pig, home at last. But our story is not quite finished yet. You see, all those months alone on the clearance shelf, our pig had allowed himself to dream. At first, his dream had been simple. A home. But as days became weeks became months, he allowed himself another dream, a secret dream.
The time for dreaming was over. It was time for the pig to act.
It was time for the pig to act, but try as he might, his efforts were getting him nowhere. After an endless round of auditions, he came to the sad realization that casting directors were either unwilling or unable to cast an earless pig in a Hollywood blockbuster.
And so, the earless pig did the only thing left for him to do. He started his own production company – Earless Pig Productions – and set out in search of suitable projects. Now you might think that the pig planned to cast himself as the lead, but the earless pig was, in fact, a sensible pig (good sense being a rare commodity among both pigs and actors). The pig was content to choose films that had a small, but significant part for an earless pig. Perhaps you’ve seen him as the gopher in the Earless Pig Production of Caddyshack. Or as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. As the Statue of Liberty in Planet of the Apes.
If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that the earless pig is preparing a Christmas surprise. Variety is reporting that the pig is prepared to step out of the shadows, taking the lead role in this year’s holiday blockbuster. But you have to believe. And if you believe in the earless pig, you need to shout BINGO! If enough people believe, if enough people shout BINGO, then on Christmas eve, shortly before midnight, the earless pig will make a yuletide appearance.
So it all comes down to this. If you believe in the earless pig, you know what you have to do. It’s in your hands now.