Each of The Three Pigs reacted quite differently to the court papers. Brick House Pig was incensed when she received the court papers from Mr. Guinea Pig. She thought she had lived down the notoriety of this whole story with the wolf. Now many years later, when it appeared the incident was in the distant past, it was coming back to haunt her. Brick House Pig’s life was comfortable just the way it was. She had made several millions in the real estate market by investing her earnings from writing the story of The Three Little Pigs and selling it to publishers and tabloids. She had written the story via a ghostwriter so many years ago when she was young and inexperienced. Now she was more sophisticated and married to old money. She did not need or want the publicity that would come with this case. She clearly remembered all the notoriety she had received from the case with the wolf, and she did not want a repeat of the experience.
Brick House Pig fumed as she thought about who was responsible for this mess. She was so upset that she had to sit down before trying to contact an attorney. While Brick House Pig had a real estate attorney on retainer, she had to find an attorney that specialized in defamation. Brick House Pig still could not believe the evil old wolf was suing her. He surely had some nerve suing his victims. My husband the real estate mogul will have a fit when he hears about this, she thought. He was already having his own issues trying to recover from the housing loan fiasco, and he did not need another problem on his hands. She sat on the couch, glanced through the complaint and summons for a while with her chin cupped in her front hooves, and then softly whispered, “What a conundrum.” It immediately dawned on Brick House Pig what attorney she would call. This attorney was quite reputable and famous. She was from the Law Firm of Priggly, Priggly, and Priggly-one of the oldest international firms in town. The founding pigs had started the firm in England and had opened branches all over the world. She knew Ms. Priggly was quite selective in taking on clients, so she would probably have to call in a few favors to be able to retain the law firm’s services. Brick House Pig sighed as she lightly touched her expensively done platinum blond hair. It was time to get the roots done again, she mused wearily.
Brick House Pig was startled when the phone in her bedroom rang loudly. She rushed over to pick it up and said, “Hello, how can I help you?” into the receiver.
“It’s me, sister,” said the voice from the other end.
“Oh, it is you,” replied Brick House Pig. “What is the matter?”
“Did that Guinea Pig serve you some court papers?” Stick House Pig asked.
“Yes, he did,” replied Brick House Pig with a loud sigh.
“You are the calm and sensible one,” Stick House Pig said. “So what are we going to do?”
“Let me think about it, and I will call you back,” Brick House Pig replied.
Stick House Pig did not need this aggravation, and she shuddered at the thought of the cost she would incur acquiring legal representation. She thought about the designer brands like Bashy, Prada, and Gucci that lined her closets. Spring was not far away, and she needed to update her wardrobe. This court case could do some serious damage to her finances and consequently her wardrobe. This would definitely not do, so she had some serious thinking to do. Stick House Pig also wanted to get to the culprit in this fiasco, and she knew this had to be the doings of her little sister, Straw House Pig. She was the only person Stick House Pig knew who could get them into this type of drama. Straw House Pig was the youngest and the spoiled one, but her many schemes had been the bane of their existence. This time, however, she had had enough. Stick House Pig went back inside to place a phone call to her older sister, Brick House Pig. She could already feel the onset of a stress headache. This day is definitely going from bad to worse, and Brick House Pig needs to come up with a way to make this lawsuit go away, Stick House Pig thought as she redialed her older sister. Brick House Pig would probably be irritated to hear from her again so soon, but “Isn’t this what big sisters are for?” Stick House Pig wondered aloud, wishing she could just crawl back under her covers and wish the tragedy that was her life away.
“That Guinea Pig has nothing on me. I did not even touch those papers, so I will not have to go to court,” Straw House Pig boasted to her friend. They had dropped by the courthouse to see what was going on because of the excitement surrounding the lawsuit.
A lawyer, who was in earshot of this conversation, walked over to Straw House Pig and replied, “Yes, you will have to go to court since you were given notice of the lawsuit by virtue of the summons even if you did not take it in your hoof.”
Straw House Pig looked at her as if she was going to faint and started to cry hysterically. She knew her sisters blamed her for this whole court fiasco. Hours later, at home, when Straw House Pig recalled the conversation, she raced to get some food from the refrigerator. She was depressed, so she ate. Straw House Pig’s sisters always called her an emotional eater, but she did not care. Eating comfort food right now was the only way to deal with this lawsuit problem.
Straw House Pig could not even afford to hire her own lawyer. After careful consideration, she realized she simply could not pay the exorbitant prices they were charging. Some lawyers quoted prices such as three hundred dollars an hour. This got Straw House Pig thinking.
If only I had listened to Mother and stayed in school, I could have been a lawyer, she said to herself. I would be the one charging clients hundreds of dollars an hour and living in one of those fancy buildings with a door attendant right in the heart of the city and access to the park. This ridiculous idea made her laugh since no one thought she was very bright. Lawyers had to be bright considering they had to do all those years of schooling. Straw House Pig knew she did not have the discipline or the brains for that kind of education.
Throughout her school years, the other pigs called Straw House Pig all sorts of unflattering names such as dimwit, dummy, silly, and clueless, but the most degrading was bush pig. This abuse permanently seared her memory. Straw House Pig gazed in the distance as the painful taunts at recess again rang in her ears: “bush pig, bush pig, in your corner,” or “bush pig, hears our laughter,” and “bush pig, you better scatter.” As she reflected on her sad past, the taunts at lunchtime in the piggy schoolyard still rang in her ears as if it were yesterday. Her cruel classmates made fun of her inability to comprehend even simple instructions, her homemade hand-me-down clothes from her two older sisters, and the fact that she was so different from her sisters. Many days Straw House Pig fought the pigs that cornered her on the playground and chanted the bush pig song. The unyielding teasing had not stopped, no matter how many times she had transferred schools. The bitter part about the whole saga was that she had stood alone against her tormentors; her friends were few, and no one came to her aid, not even her older sisters.
Her two older sisters had not been much better than the other pigs at school. They had also teased her mercilessly and called her hurtful names. Why are they so mean to me? I am their baby sister, for crying out loud, Straw House Pig thought. Tears rolled down her cheeks, and she gave out a deep guttural grunt. Furthermore, her sister, Brick House Pig, was Mother Pig’s favorite. She was the brightest of The Three Pigs, and everyone always remarked that Brick House Pig was so smart since she scored A’s in all her subjects and had won the National Spelling Bee five years in a row. Stick House Pig was the beautiful one with her petite figure, thick bouncy hair, and uppity airs. Unfortunately, for Straw House Pig, she was pegged the troubled one; in fact, she never felt loved or accepted, but rather a misfit.
Straw House Pig had dropped out of high school. Dropping out of school had been the beginning of her problems. While she had made some money from the story of The Three Little Pigs, her sisters had made millions of dollars more because they had negotiated better deals than she had. Furthermore, she had squandered all her money on the many get-rich schemes she had seen advertised on the television in the early-morning hours. Losing the bulk of her money in a pyramid scheme was the worst financial disaster that Straw House Pig had experienced.
Straw House Pig was now forced to work minimum wage jobs that could barely pay her expenses. Her one-room studio looked haphazardly decorated, with shocking pink and sunflower yellow wallpaper. The headboard to her full-size bed lay flat on the floor; soiled sheets and pillows neglected in a crumpled heap on one corner of the raggedy mattress while her clothes were scattered around the room. Some of her boots lay bundled up with dirty jeans still tucked inside. Tons of old newspapers, lottery tickets, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and broken CD cases littered the walkway. A few weeks ago, Straw House Pig had even slipped on a broken CD cover and sprained her ankle, yet she still appeared incapable of cleaning up her own mess.
Straw House Pig was struggling financially and in need of a lawyer, especially since the legal jargon in the court papers the stupid Guinea Pig had given her seemed quite complex. What was she to do? After speaking to her sisters, Straw House Pig cried even more. Both her sisters had told her she would have to fend for herself in this case with the wolf, since they were tired of cleaning up her messes. Her sisters, Brick House Pig and Stick House Pig, always felt that she ran mindlessly into trouble. Straw House Pig could almost hear her two sisters talking about her and describing her as the silly one. “Ugh,” she said, “can life get any worse?” She just had to figure a way out of this predicament.
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