The True Story of Two Pigs and a Rooster

by Robert Gear (April 2021)

Pigs, Franz Marc, 1913


Mo, the giant rooster, at that time lived on a farm. He made himself useful to the pigs who ran the farm. He did this by ridding the yard of unwanted visitors. Several times a day he would ascend a disused grain silo and crow.

        You would be wrong, though, in thinking that Mo had it all his own way. The following story is true to the best of my knowledge. But of course, you already knew that.

        The source materials do not discuss Mo’s background, but some investigators have hazarded that he was of the ‘Iowa Blue’ breed, which is known to be dual-purpose and skittish, but not actually blue.

        This farm was controlled by two pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus), of the breed ‘Large Black,’ originally created in the late nineteenth century by a merger of several varieties of swine from the counties of Southern England.

        I have it on good authority that one of the pigs was named Harris and the other was named Snort (but he called himself “Bill” and most other pigs knew her as “Nancy”).

        In all fairness, I have to mention that someone must have waved an ugly stick at these two farmyard beasts. Both appeared to have straggly beards known as ‘dorseys.’ It also goes without saying that both sported snout rings, which were de rigueur for porkery in general. And what’s more, they both thought such facial adornment made them more attractive, as did the Lizard Men who lived in the feeding troughs.

        Some ancient texts maintain that Nancy was not a real pig, but an inflatable plastic model. Subsequent events, though, proved that this was not the case. That was probably just a rumor cooked up by detractors to spread pravda and to imply that this pig wasn’t really human.

        And of course, in case you’re wondering, both these creatures had been registered in the doctrinally important ‘Swine Registry,’ perhaps eons ago.

        It is not known whether either of these swine had read any works by Ludwig Von Mises, who had taken issue with the romantic revolt against logic and science, that being also a revolt against our entire culture and civilization. However, we now know that at this time pigs and many chickens did have their own peculiar ways of interpreting the world.

        Now, in the farmyard there stood a large barrel used for collecting and storing rain water. The barrel, when filled to the brim, held exactly 94 gallons.

        One day, Harris and Nancy got inebriated on a combination of the local plonk and a legal hallucinatory drug. Their own very strange notions of what constituted reality (having studiously accepted what college professors of the day had made known to their wards) was also part of the mix.

        Harris, in his cups, then said to Nancy, “I don’t agree with Mo anymore. D’ya wanna buy him from me, oink oink? You can have him for fourteen million yuan.” In actual fact, neither of them knew which of them owned the rooster (much ownership being frowned upon), but since they were both as tipsy as a Chinese pigsty, this was a mere administrative oversight.

        Nancy said, “I’ll give you six million yuan and nothing more, oink oink.”

        Well, you know how it goes. They haggled back and forth, and eventually settled on a good way of determining the value of Mo.

        Both having read a good deal of French literature, they decided to appraise his true value by weighing the amount of water displaced when the said rooster was plunged fully into the barrel of rain water.  And the exchange value was finally agreed upon at eight million Yuan per gallon.

        And so they shook trotters.

        Mo was up his tower making what some would say were yodeling sounds. Others said that no, it was the raucous sound necessary for calling the chickens home to roost.

        They ordered him to descend from the silo, and by one stratagem or another he was persuaded to submerge himself, beak, wattles, comb and all into the brimming barrel. Since Mo was a giant rooster, several gallons were displaced. He emerged squawking but otherwise unhurt, apart from his feelings.

        Then Harris and Nancy told Mo to fill up the barrel again. He strutted back and forth to the water pump, one-gallon bucket in beak. He filled the bucket then ambled back and poured the contents into the barrel. He did this several times. When the water reached the brim again, he was ordered to stop.

        Harris said, “That’s seven gallons exactly.”

        You may be wondering why they couldn’t just have put the bird on a standard farmyard scale. The reason is that having studied antiracism, anti-bi-genderism and lots of other curious topics, they were both largely innumerate, and had trouble understanding numbers larger than about five, which, of course, they knew was the sum of two plus two.

        Nancy said that seven gallons at eight million yuan per gallon was “around fifty million yuan.” Harris didn’t quibble since he had completed a course in antiracist mathematics, and fifty million sounded progressive enough.

        But that’s not quite the end of the story.

        That’s because Mo was as litigious as any felonious, Pre-Grieving-Time victimist, and so took his case to the farmyard-collective-committee kangaroo court which in those days was presided over by a Really Big Pig, known as Malarky, who also had a ring at the end of his snout. The rainbow-colored wig and facial tattoos did not really improve his appearance.

        Malarky called the committee to order, the snout quivering.

        Since there were no witnesses to the events described above, it was left to Mo to recount his humiliation. Harris and Nancy then gave their account.

        Not one animal could understand what in Hussein’s Name they were snorting about. And since we do not have a verbatim account of the case, we do not know which pronouns were preferred.

        Anyway, the final upshot was that neither party could make their case sufficiently clearly. And since none of those present believed very much in objective reality, having taken courses in postmodern social constructivism, Malarky had to dismiss the case.  

        The jury, which was constituted of various farmyard animals, oinked, squawked, brayed and barked their way back to their well-chosen career options on their agricultural collectives.


        Harris and Nancy were relieved that the case against them had been thrown out. After all, they could now get back to studying the three-times-table and to confirm that three times three is eleven. They also made a stab at renewing their familiarity with Guy De Maupassant’s story, which had originally inspired their strange treatment of Mo.

        The rooster, for his part, was not fully satisfied, and so having heard that Nancy was an inflatable plastic pig (see above) pecked and pecked at her when next they met in a dark alley behind the troughs of the Lizard Men. Nancy didn’t burst, but a considerable amount of blood oozed out. In fact, Mo almost managed to decapitate her, something which he was truly good at. Then he fluttered back to the top of the silo and yodeled out loud and clear for any of the faithful who might be within earshot.

        Harris was also pleased as punch, since hogs and such-like will eat their own given half a chance.

        And by the way, Malarky, The Really Big Pig, has his own story. But that is for another time, after I have recovered the cancelled sources.


Robert Gear is a Contributing Editor to New English Review who now lives in the American Southwest. He is a retired English teacher and has co-authored with his wife several texts in the field of ESL.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
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