The Little Pig
Once upon a time a little black and white pig with a curly tail went out to take a morning walk. He intended to go to the Mud Puddle, but before he got there he came to a garden gate that was stretched wide open.
"Umph, umph," said the little pig when he saw it, "isn't this fine? I have wanted to get into this garden ever since I can remember"; and in he went as fast as his four short legs could carry him.
The garden was full of flowers. There were pansies, and daisies, and violets, and honeysuckles, and all the bright flowers that you can name. Everything was in the proper place. There were tulips on either side of the garden walk, and holly-hocks stood in a straight row against the fence. The pansies had a garden bed all to themselves, and the young vines were just beginning to climb up on the frame that the gardener had made for their special benefit.
"Umph, umph, nice place," said the little pig, and he put his nose down in the pansy bed and began to root up the pansies, for he thought that was the way to behave in a garden.
While he was enjoying himself there the brown hen came down the road with her family. She had thirteen children, and she was looking for a nice rich spot where they might scratch for their breakfast. When she saw the open gate she was delighted.
"Cluck, cluck, come on," she said to her chicks.
"Peep, peep, peep," said the little chickens, "is it a worm?"
"It is a beautiful garden, and there is nothing that I like better than to scratch in a garden," answered the hen, as she bustled through the gate. The chickens followed her, and soon they were all busy scratching among the violets.
They had not been there very long when the red cow walked by the garden. She was on her way to the Pond, but when she saw the open garden gate she decided at once to go in.
"Moo, moo," she said, "this is delightful. Tender flowers are such a treat," and she swished her tail over her back as she nipped the daisies from their stems.
"Cluck," said the hen, "Peep," said the chicks, "Umph," said the little pig, for they were pleased to have company. While they were talking a rabbit with very bright eyes peeped in at the gate.
"Oh, is it a party?" he said when he saw the red cow, and the pig with a curly tail, and the hen and chickens.
"Come in," said the pig, "and help yourself. There is plenty of room." So the rabbit hopped into the garden and nibbled the green leaves and the young vines.
"How many of us are here?" asked the red cow, but before any of them could count, the gardener came home.
When he looked into the garden he began to cry, "Oh, my pretty pansies! my dear daisies! my sweet violets! my tender young vines!"
"What is he talking about?" said the chickens.
"I suppose he wants us to go out," answered the hen, and she ruffled her feathers and quarreled as the gardener came hurrying toward them.
Then the cow ran one way and the pig ran another. The little chickens got lost in the bushes, and the rabbit hid in the vines. The hen cackled, and the pig squealed, and the gardener scolded. By the time he had driven them all out of the garden the sun was high in the sky.
"Umph, umph," cried the little pig, as he scampered down the road, "we will all come back to-morrow."
But when they went back the next day the garden gate was fastened close, and not even the smallest chicken could get inside.