A Children’s Parable to Explain August 2021

Once upon a time there was a beautiful city whose occupants were pigs. Like all pigs, they came in different shapes, sizes, and colors. But unlike most pigs, these pigs had all sorts of jobs: some of them owned and operated markets and businesses, some of them built and sold houses. Some of them raised cattle and food, some of them ate only plants. Some of them just sat around at home and got fat while other pigs worked. Some lived in houses of straw, others sticks, still others bricks, depending on their ability and dedication. While they sometimes fought with each other, all the pigs knew that the thing that made Pig City great was the freedom for each pig to choose how he or she wanted to live. And so they lived together in relative peace and prosperity.

Outside of Pig City were smaller villages with other kinds of animals—sheep, rabbits, kitty-cats, even birds. Most of them admired Pig City to greater or lesser extents. Some even moved to Pig City and became pigs themselves. The pigs and the other animals would trade and do business together, visit one another, and generally sow goodwill with their mutual experiences. 

But there was a small grove far away from Pig City that was inhabited by wild dogs. These vicious, rabid, rampaging dogs would go from village to village and force all the other animals to become dogs like them. If the animals did not want to become dogs, the wild packs would kill them and eat them. They especially hated pigs, for the pigs were tolerant of all animals. It was becoming a very big problem all over the countryside, so all the littler village animals asked the pigs of Pig City for help.

“This should be no problem,” said the pigs. “After all, we successfully left Lion City to make Pig City all those years ago, and more recently we saved the entire world from Eagle City—twice!” So they sent their best pigs to help: pigs with big muscles, long tusks, and keen eyes. They went from village to village, fighting against the wild dogs and training the other animals to do the same.

But there were three problems the pigs faced as they fought. First, the wild dogs were not so much interested in having their own peaceful city to themselves as they were making every animal become wild dogs like them. They hated every animal that wouldn’t become a wild dog, and they believed that their dog-god wanted them to kill everyone who would not submit to them. So the pigs realized very quickly that the only options in the war against wild dogs was either to eradicate the wild dogs completely or to neutralize their ability to kill the other animals. 

The second problem was that many of the pigs who had never left the safety of their brick houses in Pig City shamed the pigs who were fighting in the grove. Oh, they would smile and thank the veteran pigs for their service, but in secret they loved the wild dogs more because they wanted Pig City to give them the same kind of uniform power that the wild dogs wanted. Many of these pigs pointed out that not every dog was wild. This was actually true—there were nice dogs to be found everywhere, dogs who didn’t want to kill other animals. This made many of the pigs of Pig City upset. But remember, we aren’t talking about regular dogs. We are talking about wild dogs whose only desire is to kill, destroy, and forcibly convert all animals into wild dogs.

The third problem was that every four years all the pigs voted for a new mayor, who was elected to lead Pig City. This itself was not a problem; in fact, it was a good idea. No, the problem was that each pig mayor had different ideas on how to fight the wild dogs. Some pig mayors wanted to be strong and protective of the other animals, while other pig mayors wanted to get the wild dogs to talk. But again, the wild dogs did not want to talk. Wild dogs do not talk. They just snarl and bite.

After years and years of fighting, it looked like the courageous pigs of Pig City had neutralized the wild dogs and made all the animals safe. So a big orange pig mayor with really loud snorts made plans to bring home some of the pigs. As he did, he told the wild dogs in no uncertain terms that if the wild dogs did any more violence—especially against the pigs—he would go right back in and make them wish they hadn’t been born. The wild dogs believed him, for they were at their core cowards, and the orange pig was very scary to them.

Then something terrible happened. Half of the pigs of Pig City hated the orange pig. They hated him so much that whatever he said or did was booed and disagreed with, even if he did something good. So before the orange pig could withdraw the pig troops in the right way, they elected a different pig mayor. This pig mayor was old, mumbled a lot, and never seemed to know what day it was.

When the day came for the pig troops to come back from the grove of wild dogs, the new pig mayor heard from all of his military advisors what he should do and how he should do it. But the new pig mayor ignored them all. They begged him. He ignored. They pleaded with him. He still ignored. So the pig troops started coming home, leaving tons of material and civilian pigs, and abandoning their other animal friends.

With this, the wild dogs saw their chance. With the orange pig gone and the old pig napping, they immediately ransacked the villages that they had taken so long ago. They ran after the pigs who were fleeing for their lives. They lined up other animals and killed them. They went door to door and demanded that all the non-wild-dogs come out. They even went to the pigs’ now-abandoned embassy and filmed videos of themselves laughing. They told the rest of the world what they always had: that they will not stop until the entire world is full of wild dogs.

It was so sad. Because there were still lots of pigs and other nice animals stuck in the grove. They were afraid and endangered. Even many dogs who were not wild but nice were afraid for their lives. So the pigs of Pig City asked their mumbling pig mayor for an explanation. Alas, at first they couldn’t even find him or his press secretary for a few days. But when he finally came out of his sty, he said some things that made many pigs even sadder:

First he blamed the orange pig mayor, which seemed to be the only time he didn’t mumble. Then he blamed the other animals, as if a little rabbit could hope to fight a wild dog. Then he sent a strongly worded letter to the wild dogs, who laughed at him. Then he charged all the pigs he abandoned in the grove $2000 to come home.

Sadly, this story is still happening, and all the animals are in trouble once again. We don’t even know how many pigs are still trapped in the grove. Even sadder, many pigs in Pig City are so cozy and fat, sitting in their brick houses outraged at the wrong things, that they do not see the danger and pain caused by the wild dogs. I hope they do soon.

The Moral of the Story: Midterm elections are November 8, 2022. Get your head out of your slop bucket.