Political Posturing

Submitted into Contest #25 in response to: Write a short story about someone writing Valentine's Day wishes.... view prompt



Peter Pig stood outside the wooden door of his sty. His brand new letterbox for his sty door glinted in the pallid January sunlight.

''Chilly,' he grunted to himself,' even for a January morn. What a lucky fellow, I am, Master of Weevil Wood. Soon I shall be officially elected as Mayor.'

He scrolled down furiously with his right hoof on his new tablet. Sometimes his rather large, right hoof got in the way and obscured his vision.

'New Year,' he said,' New Resolution, not goin' to loll about in the muck anymore. No siree,' and he took a long-drawn-out puff on his Cuban cigar.

January days were chilly and blustery. Heavy winter rains turned the soil into muck.

Just up the lane from Peter Pig's sty, Henrietta Hedgehog's spines shivered and trembled.

'Another night under the stars,' she muttered. 'Have to make a New Year resolution to find a proper pile of leaves to sleep under, or my sniffles will never stop.'

Henrietta tucked in her spines closer to try and keep out the winter chill.

She heard a heavy step coming towards her. Uncurling her spines, she peeked out.

'Yes,' she said to herself, 'of course, it's Peter Pig. Here he comes again. What's he up to for this New Year, I wonder? Such a piggy bully.'

Peter Pig strolled along the country lane, blowing smoke rings from his cigar.

Henrietta loved the smell of cigar smoke. When she inhaled it, she was transported to another world where hedgehogs had lovely dry piles of leaves to snooze until winter loosened its grip.

'Maybe,' she mused,' if I peek my snout out just a teeny bit, I can inhale some of the cigar smoke.'

Uncurling her spikes just a little, she pushed her little snout further out.

She could hear Pig fast approaching, grunting loudly as he lumbered along.

'New Year, New Resolutions,' he grunted.

Next thing Henrietta gave a loud cry. A big hoof had just stood on her tiny snout.

'E-e-e-e,' she howled, 'take your big pig's foot off my snout.'

Peter Pig was thrown by the squeals of Henrietta. Taking a closer look, he spotted Henrietta's crushed spines where his big hoof had trodden.

'Morning Madam Henrietta, I do apologise for my piggish behaviour.'

Henrietta hissed with rage, 'You stupid pig, keep to your own side of the lane.'

Peter Pig was contrite and waved a piggy hoof in the air while asking for forgiveness.

Embarrassed by his piggish behaviour and wanting to stay friends with Henrietta, since the two of them shared the lane, he asked, ' Madam Henrietta, what New Year Resolutions have you made? Now that I have my new tablet, I can write everything down, as I stroll around. I don't need to be seated at my little piggy trough with my infrared lantern to write my resolutions.

 I want to know what my fellow residents want?

Henrietta, I have decided to run for Mayor. I am well thought of in Weevil Wood and here in the lane all the residents bow when they see me coming. Isn't that so?'

Henrietta was intrigued. She knew how much Pig wanted to be loved and respected. Alas, Peter Pig was full of his own importance and rarely considered his neighbours.

The residents of Weevil Wood, the little birds in the branches and the ants on the anthill and the tadpoles in the pond in Spring feared Piggy. He longed for their respect. They cowered into their little burrows and branches when they heard his loud snorting along the lane.

Though Henrietta's snout was still smarting, she listened attentively.

'New Year Resolutions?' she repeated.

Seeing how contrite Piggy was, she thought of a plan.

Coming out to talk with piggy, she feigned interest in his new tablet.

'Piggy,' she said, I can help you write your speech for the election on your brand new tablet. I have had my tablet for a year now and am proficient.'

Piggy was delighted. He sat down next to Henrietta and watched as her nimble spines caressed the e-keyboard.

'Henrietta,' he began, 'begin with, Dear residents of Weevil Wood, your friend and soon-to-be Mayor, Peter Pig is today asking for your votes in the upcoming election.

My new year resolution is to give the residents what they want in order to make life better.'


Peter Pig was getting carried away talking about his future political career.

Henrietta's spines moved swiftly, over and back on the tablet, as she smiled to herself.


'Peter Pig,' she said, 'to keep the residents of Weevil Wood happy, you must promise something.'

'Like New Year resolutions,' he said, 'promise them something new, something they will like?'

'Yes,' Henrietta said.

Peter Pig replied,' Make a list Henrietta, not too long or I will not be able to do everything.'

'Why, of course, you will be the Mayor, you will have the power. Power is all that matters, eh, Peter Pig?'

Peter Pig stretched himself up to his full piggy height while stroking his snout, 'yes, yes Henrietta, power is a drug, an aphrodisiac. Why all the residents of Weevil Wood will be bowing at my hooves.'

Henrietta not having gone to hedgehog school for long was puzzled by the big word.

Peter Pig began,' residents of Weevil Wood..'

Henrietta typed furiously.

 On Monday evening the residents of Weevil Wood arrived early at the great big tree with the hole in the bark where Ollie Owl lived. Ollie Owl had no complaints since Peter Pig was scared of Ollie and her big beak that would peck him if he didn't do what Ollie wanted. After all, the to -wit, to- woo of Ollie's ancestors had echoed around Weevil Wood for generations.

The birds and animals chirped and tweeted and growled while they awaited Peter Pig's arrival.

Holly Hen came running up the lane shouting 'Peter Pig is on the way, I have just seen his cigar rings blowing this way.'

A hush fell on the noisy gathering.

 Peter Pig had donned his bowler hat for the occasion. He strode purposefully to the front beside Ollie Owl's door.

'Mr Pig,' Ollie began, 'can you hurry up with your electioneering. This January evening is biting cold and the residents want to return home soon.'

Peter Pig held his cigar in one hand and his new tablet in the other.

'Residents of Weevil Wood,' Peter began, 'I am putting myself forward for election as Mayor of Weevil Wood.'

There was an audible gasp.

'No, no,' the ants said as loud as their little lungs allowed,' we don't want you as Mayor. You have allowed residents to trample all over our anthill.'

Peter Pig was distraught. His plan was not working.

Peter Pig made another attempt to win over the residents of Weevil Wood.

He said in a politically correct tone, 

'I, Peter Pig, know I can count on you all to vote for me as your new Mayor. Here is a list of my New Year Resolutions for you :

1. Never to disturb the anthill when the ants are home.

The colony of ants who had travelled so far for the meeting hugged one another, forming a great big black blob, to show their delight.


2. To make sure Tomcat, Ginger does not disturb the robins in the hedgerows.

At this, the robins chirped their most beautiful songs.


Peter Pig puffed leisurely on his cigar as Henrietta typed. He loved the roar of the crowd. Soon he would be Mayor.

'Now's my chance,' Henrietta thought as she continued to type furiously, inserting resolution no 3 out of sight of Pig.

Pig waited, puffing proudly on his cigar while Henrietta made sure all the I's were dotted and all the T's were crossed. The birds and animals chirped and tweeted.

Just then the January Wolf Moon came out from behind a cloud and the crowd stared. Some howled like Willie Wolf, a scary howl that filled the night air. Some thought it was an omen.

Henrietta hedgehog sniffled a little in the corner beside the snowdrop shoots. All the while smiling to herself as she watched Peter Pig.

Catching sight of Henrietta, Peter called to her,' Residents of Weevil, I want to introduce you to my deputy Henrietta Hedgehog. She is going to make sure that I keep my promises to my people.

There is the final resolution, no 3 to be read by Henrietta.'

Henrietta spoke in a calm voice, 

'3. To provide warm, cosy clumps of leaves for all hedgehogs in Weevil Wood.'

Peter Pig dropped his cigar, 'but..but not for all hedgehogs surely,' he moaned.

Henrietta handed the tablet to Pig. She slipped quietly away. Now the hedgehogs' demands were officially on the Mayor's lists.

In the distance, she could hear Peter Pig snivelling.

The outgoing Mayor, Renard Fox, sneered as he handed him a copy of Animal Bible on which he had to swear his resolutions.

' I solemnly swear to fulfil my resolutions to Weevil Wood.'

'Piggy is gullible and foolish,' Renard murmured, making resolutions he cannot keep. Luckily I was too sly to get caught in such a trap. Nowadays people are so addicted to their technology that they forget reality.'

Peter Pig was distraught. His plan was not working.

Henrietta fluttered her eyelashes demurely.

Henrietta's spines tingled as she laughed heartily.

'At last,' she thought to herself, 'I've got my own back on Peter Pig, who for years trampled on my little home, my little clump of dried leaves.'

The crowd hollered with delight at the prospect of getting all their New Year resolutions fulfilled.

Peter Pig was crestfallen. Tears of perspiration rolled down his piggy cheeks. He grunted and growled angrily.

'Henrietta,' he grunted, 'new clumps of dried leaves for all hedgehogs. No, never it's not possible.'

With that Peter Pig sneaked away, trotting quickly into the dense darkness of Weevil Wood.

Henrietta hid behind an old oak tree and watched.

The angry residents stomped their feet.

'Down with Peter Pig,' they shouted, 'bring back Foxy. At least that way we know we won't have lists of resolutions. Just the usual political posturing.

Henrietta laughed loud and long. Now she knew Peter Pig would never destroy her clump of dried leaves again.


January 23, 2020 14:09

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