Sunday, April 18, 2021

Survival of the Fattest by Annie Wills

 “Are you going to finish that?”

“Of course,” Nora said, with her mouth full. “It’s delicious.”

“Fine, fine,” Edie said.

They continued eating in silence for a few moments. Then Edie said, “You did get a lot today, didn’t you?”

From the other side of the sty, Martha said, “Edie, don’t start this again. You’re such a greedy pig.”

Nora leaned in closer to the trough, took another mouthful and ignored Edie.

Edie said, “Maybe they’re fattening you up for some reason.”

Nora froze. “What do you mean?”

Edie lifted her snout in the air and said breezily, “Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Maybe they thought you were looking a bit thin. Perhaps they were trying to welcome you to the new pen. Or, I don’t know. Could there be any other reason?”

Martha said, “This isn’t funny, Edie. Nora, she’s just teasing - you’ll get used to her. We’re petting zoo pigs, not for eating. Edie, stop scaring poor Nora.”

Edie looked shocked. “Goodness me Martha, I wasn’t suggesting anything of the sort. I just thought it was interesting that Nora had so much slop today. Much, much more than any of the rest of us.”

Nora didn’t speak.

“And what was it that Mr Harman said when he brought it this morning? ‘Nora is coming along nicely, only a few more weeks and she’ll be the perfect size’ or something?”

Nora said, panicked, “I don’t know. I didn’t hear any of that.”

There was silence again. Nora looked at the remaining slop in the trough.

“Edie,” she said eventually. “Edie?”

“What is it?”

“I’m just - not that hungry any more. Edie - do you want the rest of my slop?”

© Annie Wills

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