Author of 'Babe' pens another hit - Porcus and Rufus

ONCE upon a time there were two brothers named Porcus and Rufus. In looks they were identical. Each was covered in ginger hair, each had a very long snout, and each, in fact, looked very like those wild specimens of their kind that long ago, used to roam the woods and forests of old England. In short, they were Tamworth pigs.

No one, not even their owner, could tell Rufus from Porcus, so alike were they, but strangely, their natures were very different.

Porcus was a jolly fellow, always ready to treat life as a joke, impulsive, leaping before he looked. Rufus was of a serious nature, liking to think things through and convinced that discretion was the better part of valour.

Rufus and Porcus lived in a pigsty near the old town of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, and one fine day their owner loaded them into a trailer behind his car and drove away.

"This is fun!" said Porcus as they bumped along. "Better than being stuck in that old sty. Where d'you suppose we're going, Rufus?" Rufus thought deeply.

"My guess is," he said, "that we are being transported to Tamworth, which is presumably our natural home. We are, in effect, being repatriated."

They passed a signpost. "Ah!" said Rufus. "My conjecture was inaccurate." "Talk English," said Porcus. "What are you on about?" "We are, in fact," said Rufus, "going to Malmesbury."

They passed another signpost. "What does that one say?" asked Porcus. "It says ABATTOIR," replied Rufus.

"What's that?"

"An abattoir," said Rufus gravely, "is an alternative name for a slaughterhouse, a place to which animals - in this case, pigs - are taken to be killed."

"And here it is," he said as they drew to a halt. "I fear, brother dear, that our end is nigh."

"Oh piffle and waffle and poppycock and tarradiddle and horsefeathers!" said Porcus. "We're too young to die. Wait till he lets down the tailboard and then follow me."

And as soon as the back of the trailer was opened, the two young Tamworths leaped out and raced across the yard of the abattoir, and out of the gate, and across the neighbouring field. At the bottom of the field was yet another signpost, which said RIVER AVON. "Alas," said Rufus, "I fear, brother dear, that recapture is inevitable."

"Why?"

"Pigs cannot swim. I remember being told that, by the action of their forefeet, any attempt to swim results, tragically, in their cutting their own throats."

"Oh piffle and waffle and poppycock and tarradiddle and horsefeathers!" cried Porcus. "Look, the men in white coats are after us. If you stay here, you'll certainly get your throat cut. Come on, I'm off!" and he plunged in.

Rufus sighed.

"One supposes," he said, "that drowning may be a more acceptable form of death," and he too threw himself into the Avon.

Porcus was already swimming across.

"It's easy!" he shouted back. "Just walk, Rufus old boy, as though you were on dry land, just walk!" So Rufus did.

As they landed on the opposite bank, free now from pursuit, and shook the water from their ginger coats, Rufus looked with admiration at his headstrong brother.

"Porcus, dear boy," he said. "Due to your quick thinking and bold plunge into the watery element, our lives have been saved."

"Well, save your breath now," said Porcus. "We may have crossed the river but we're not out of the wood yet. Or rather," he went on, "I should say we're not into the woods yet, because that's where we need to be. Once we get in among the trees, we'll be safe."

"But how shall we exist, dear boy?" said Rufus. "We have been accustomed to regular supplies of food. Without those, we shall surely be in danger of a considerable loss of condition and diminution of weight, and may, not to put too fine a point on it, starve to death."

"Oh piffle and waffle and poppycock and tarradiddle and horsefeathers!" cried Porcus. "The woods around Malmesbury are full of lovely things for us to eat. Unlike all other pigs, we are going to live happily ever after."

Let's hope they do.

This story first appeared in the 'Western Daily Press'

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable