As he walked a little farther, Mr. Wolf felt as if the weight of a generation of wolves rested on his shoulders. Nevertheless, it seemed the closer he got to the city, the lighter his heart felt. When he neared the bustling City of Maplewood filled with pedestrians moving at various speeds, he put a smile on his face, something he had not done in years since the pigs’ accusations had spread like wildfire. He watched in fascination as the urbanites sped by in their mini vans, jeeps, and two-door cars. Environmentally conscious pigs, rabbits, and wolves pedaled on their green two-wheeled cycles with helmets on their heads while others hurried to their final destination on foot. Mr. Wolf knew smiling would make him appear less scary, so he smiled and nodded to everyone he met along the way, whispering softly to himself, “I am going to clear my name. I am going to clear my name.”
Most of the pedestrians on the streets were pigs, and many whispered among themselves and eyed Mr. Wolf suspiciously. One pig who looked past her prime whispered loudly to another pig as she pointed to Mr. Wolf, “Look at this wolf in sheep’s clothing. I wonder who he is trying to fool now.” Some of the pedestrians who heard this comment snickered as Mr. Wolf headed their way. The rumors and the cruel gossip had kept Mr. Wolf away from town.
Yet now, Mr. Wolf felt forced to relive the painful memories of yesteryears. In some of the store windows owned by pigs, Mr. Wolf’s picture, bearing a striking resemblance to a criminal mug shot, still hung as a grim reminder to many in the pig community of the story of The Three Little Pigs. Mr. Wolf tried to appear as harmless as possible by smiling and waving, especially to the pigs that crossed his path, but unfortunately he was ostracized within the pig community and nothing was about to change that.
Many of the pigs ignored him, some sped up, and others clutched their belongings as they eyed Mr. Wolf defiantly. Some of the younger piglets on their way to school were dressed in their school uniforms. Mr. Wolf was pleasantly surprised because their well-pressed white ruffled blouses appeared tucked neatly into their navy-blue pleated skirts, and their socks very white. They even wore black shiny patent-leather shoes. Mr. Wolf stared in shock and disbelief at the blue and white ribbons neatly intertwined in their many pigtails.
The piglets began to shriek in horror as Mr. Wolf crossed their paths. Their parents had inundated them with stories of the “big bad wolf,” and they were terrified at the way he was looking at them. Pandemonium broke lose as the piglets ran screaming down the street, scattering their books and lunch pails.
“Please, little piglets do not be afraid,” one adult pig, admonished.
“Look at the ‘big bad wolf ’ now; he is just a shadow of his former self,” the heavyset pig dressed in a nursing uniform said as she pointed at Mr. Wolf’s cane while many of the older pigs laughed mockingly. Noting the pigs’ reactions, Mr. Wolf remembered why he had to clear his name, and he hated being the center of attention. The wolves he encountered either exchanged fist pounds with him or nodded their heads in acknowledgment as he passed them.
Like a wolf on a mission, he picked up his gait, and walked the last blocks to the lawyer’s office purposefully. He knew it was time to set the record straight, for he could feel the urgency in his bones. He was definitely getting too old, and his heart was too weak to carry this heavy burden. He also knew he had to relieve the nagging pain of emotional distress that had haunted him over the years before putting the matter to rest.
When Mr. Wolf reached the antique African mahogany cherry-stained round-top double door with raised moldings of the Law Office of Honest Pig and Honest Pig, he began to feel extremely nervous. He stared at the red and white billboard hoisted near the roof that denoted the services of the law office. He quickly took note of the motto on the sign, “EVERY CLIENT IS OUR PRIORITY.” Mr. Wolf felt a little better as he read the sign, but still he paced up and down the three steps in front of the law office before he summoned the courage to knock on the door. Again, he wondered if it was wise to come to a pig for help.
As he stood outside the door, he remembered Mrs. Wolf’s earlier query, “Why don’t you forget about this whole thing?” He also saw the wolves’ angry faces from the council and heard their voices as they asked, “Why are you going to those pigs for help?” Mr. Wolf also remembered the terror on the faces of the young piglets as they huddled in horror, while other pigs laughed and whispered as he passed them on the way to the law office. Instantly, he also remembered the lies that The Three Pigs had told on him, so he pummeled the door loudly with his cane. Bang! Bang! However, no one answered him. He sat on the steps of the law office feeling very dejected and disheartened. He had an appointment, so where was this pig attorney, he wondered. He wondered if the attorney had changed his mind about representing him. Despite these troubling thoughts, Mr. Wolf decided to knock one last time. He got up and knocked three times louder than before and shouted, “Honest Pigs, Honest Pigs, may I come in?”
Finally, a stately looking black boar twice his height opened the door, looking quite perturbed. “Why didn’t you ring the bell?” the Boar asked, pointing to the ringer located to the right of the door, as he stared at Mr. Wolf curiously. His smooth melodious voice was quite a contrast to his looming figure. Then without waiting for an answer, the imposing black boar politely said, “Come on in,” and introduced himself as the receptionist for the Law Office of Honest Pig and Honest Pig.
“I have an appointment with Counsel Boar, and I am Mr. Wolf,” he said.
“I know; we were expecting you,” replied the black boar.
The boar had a neatly trimmed black mustache, but he was dressed more like a butler than a receptionist. The black boar pressed the intercom on the wall and said, “Mr. Wolf is here, sir.”
A muffled grunt echoed gruffly through the system, “Very good, let him come in.” The black boar led the way through a brightly lit hallway, and Mr. Wolf looked admiringly at the lime green walls along the corridor that complemented a red accent panel.
They proceeded to the reception area, and as they passed through the open door, the sight that met Mr. Wolf’s eye shattered his perception of what a lawyer’s office should look like. He expected order; instead, Mr. Wolf saw what some would call chaos. While Mr. Wolf did not say it aloud, he felt the office looked a little too piggish. There seemed to be more books than walls. The office had papers piled on the floor, on top of the desk, and on top of the file cabinets. Empty juice boxes and stale leftover food sat carelessly strewn on a tiny eating table in the corner of the hallway. This was what one would expect from pigs anyways, Mr. Wolf thought. Pigs liked pigsties, and that was a known fact. If this was not a well-known law office, I would not trust these pigs to defend me, he said to himself.
Mr. Wolf stumbled several times as he tried to make his way through the mess. At one point, he skidded on a banana peel, and had to grab a wall to steady himself. The receptionist mouthed a quick apology. Inwardly Mr. Wolf was fuming despite the apology since the receptionist had not had the courtesy to tell him to be careful. Mr. Wolf tried to calm his temper before he spoke to the lawyer. The next door to the right of the reception area was Counsel Boar’s office, and the receptionist knocked loudly before entering.
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