Rock-a-by baby, in the tree tops
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Or that’s what they think. This story completely over rules that old wives tale, this is not a nursery rhyme, but a gripping story involving the fabled big Bad Wolf, a rather wind worn tree, and a rampant storm front.
Part One: Rock-a-by baby, in the tree tops
Wolf, or Big ‘n Bad to his friends, hobbled down the gravel road, completely immersed in self pity, hunger, and anger, if it were a graphic novel, a storm cloud would hover above his head, drenching his already sullen head. Though thankfully, this book is not one of that ilk.
Wolf’s day had gone sour ever since that danged incident with the pigs. Who’d of thought that the third pigs abode would have had such high quality cladding, Wolf thought morosely.
And then he’d tried other stunts into the afternoon, the apple picking fiasco, the pig’s pot debacle and so on. These many failures for a good meal beat remorselessly at the carnivore’s pride as he trudged along the road, wearied from his long walk.
But, as so often happens in stories, a sound drifted upon Wolf’s cropped ears that made them swivel, like tank turrets, towards the supposed sound that had perked his interest so.
It was the sound of a bleating sheep, Wolf’s favorite food beside roast swine. And, as he assured himself that it was in fact, the sound of a young sheep, a premonition of a large fat lamb on a plate drifted sluggishly from side to side in the confines of his cranium.
Now completely set that his fortunes had at last caught up with him, Big ‘n Bad turned toward the sound and began loping toward the nearing sound. Often switching from an upright run to an all fours sprint, Wolf soon reached the supposed point of emanation of the sound.
But when he looked up, he saw with rising blood pressure, a willow tree, rooted stock still in the middle of the seemingly bare field.
Wolf was about ready to start digging a hole to die in, when he saw a piece of furniture resting on the top branch that was not normally suspended in such a fashion. The baby crib was a large, blue box, with a soft blanket enveloping it that was fluttering ever so slightly in the gale force bleating emanating from it.
Storm clouds began to crackle above the forlorn branches of the tree, and rain drops reminiscent of cannon balls began splattering down on the shoulders of Wolf. But he took no notice, Wolf, who, after in mind thanking the frankly asinine parents who had been idiotic enough to entrust a baby sheep into the unreliable bows of a pile of two-by-fours, had begun to scheme his arrival at the juicy morsel which perched so tantalizingly at the crest of the rigid tree.
Part Two: When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
Wolf first contemplated throwing rocks at the crib, but after his third pebble ricocheted off the tree trunk with an unearthly zing and planted itself firmly in Wolf’s forehead, causing him to perform a fabulously timed back flip straight into a cow pat, he rethought his plan with vigor.
Second he attempted pole vaulting his way up the now slightly rocking crib. But this plan to was quickly mashed, when, half way into his first vault the bendy bow he was using snapped, and with the combined strain of his weight on it, sent him catapulting several hundred feet into the stratosphere, where, after being thoroughly clouted and slapped by a passing flock of geese, he switched ends and nose dived straight into an enormous mud mire, that had consequently been created by the raging storm above.
But finally, an idea came into his mind that just might work. He would use his power to Huff-and-Puff the crib down right into his waiting arms to be devoured noisily, with profuse amounts of ketchup.
And, with this idea firmly lodged in his mind, Big ‘n Bad, ran back a few steps, puffed out his chest to a massive proportions, sucked in an enormous breath that shortened the air supply of the surrounding area so much that several fleas dropped from his back in a stupor.
And then Wolf let out his breath in an explosion of wind that was sent crashing into the branches of the tree, missed the crib and consequently kicked a hole in the trunk of the tree.
When his warning shot had gone astray, Wolf huffed again, and this time was dead on course and hit the crib full on. But, to the wolf utter confusion, it merely did a sideways flip, and then came to rest again, on the same branch, with only a slight after rock to the malevolent blast that had earlier struck it.
And though Wolf tried time and time again, he could not unseat it from its lofty perch, it was as if a benevolent magnet had the crib in its metallurgic grasp and would not allow such flatulent wind to come its way. The only response Wolf had was a few violent rocks from the crib, and a few infuriatingly superior bleats that sounded like, that’s how I ride, fools.
And at last Wolf gave up and fell to thinking again, and though he hated this past time so, he made himself comfortable in a large rain puddle and began to think, and think, and think.
Part Three: When the bow breaks, the cradle with fall
Now, positively drenched, and up to his ears in rain water, Wolf finally realized what he must do. And; clambering out of the growing pond he sat in, he began to climb the tree.
This plan to, seemed destined to fall because he fell so many times into the rain soaked mud below that he soon turned from a black wolf to a brown wolf. But, at long last, he reached a thick branch just about four meters below the crib which had niggled at him so.
But he reached yet another dilemma in the form of foreleg length. His back paws, neutralized in the act of keeping him upright in the swaying tree, were completely useless in the attempt to apprehend the swaying crib that was so close. And his forelegs, meant for running and jumping, did not have the length of leg to reach the crib.
This thought at last reached Wolfs brain, and, in a fit of desperate rage, he leapt clean off his branch and slashed wildly at the crib’s protecting branch.
And, as luck would have it, his claws, sharp as they were slashed clean through the swaying bow and the crib flew from its perch, high into the storm rent sky.
Part Four: And down will come baby, cradle and all…
But, unfortunately for Wolf, he as well went sailing into the air, bereft of paw or foot holds he sailed along with the crib, and then, still with the crib descending beside him, he flew earthwards, cursing wildly.
He hit the ground with a splattering thud, but just as fast leapt up and crowed to the sky, and then spat out a mouthful of water. The lamb was HIS! His alone, and he had earned it, he most certainly had.
Turning swiftly, he raced toward the crib, which incredibly was still perched right side up, with barely a fleck of mud on it.
Wolf swept it up in his arms, gargled again to the sky and then, with a caressing paw, rolled back the wet blanket covering his dinner, and…became the recipient of a great shock, in both ways.
The first one was that the crib was not full of sheep, but of a slyly ginning, incredibly familiar, pig. And the second shock was when a cord of chain lightning, flashed out of the sky and buzzed right into Big ‘n Bad Wolf, knocking him unconscious.
Epilogue: Of Sorts
Wolf woke up, feeling dreadful; the last he could remember was being struck by that danged lightning bolt, and before that realizing that the seeming sheep had in fact been his arch nemesis, the third and last pig, Pork Chop III, brother of the late Spare Ribs II and Bacon Strip I.
But what he saw when he opened his eyes made him want to go back to whatever punishment Pork Chop would have inflicted upon him. Wolf was strapped bodily to a long, wide board with thick ropes; five thousand feet up.
Maybe five feet above him, ten geese flew, with long ropes running from their scaled legs to support hooks on his board. And, attached to the belly of one of the geese, so it would be clearly visible to the Wolf, was a strange calling card.
You got off lucky this time, Wolf. I’ll be seeing you soon
This note, of course, was from Pork Chop, and Wolf groaned inwardly as the geese flew him into the sunset, off into another adventure.
“Why does it always happen to the wolf?”, Wolf said, then lay his furry head back against the board, preparing for another world of trouble.