The Pig and the Radish

Daisy was rooting around her pen, looking to see if there was anything tasty she’d missed.   In the far corner, behind the trough, a little radish had taken root. Yum.

“Wait, don’t eat me!” the radish said in a little high-pitched squeaky voice. “If you let me be, I’m sure I’ll find some way to help you.”

Daisy scrunched up her nose. “But I’m hungry. And I like radishes.”

“Please don’t eat me,” the radish said. “I’m too young to die.”

Daisy laughed.   “Fine. I’ll leave you be this time. But if Farmer Green is late with supper, I make no promises.”

Farmer Green was not late. “Thank you, Farmer Green, for your punctuality,” the radish said from behind the trough.

Farmer Green looked around, then he looked at Daisy. “Did you say that?” he asked. Then he shook his head. “That’s silly. Pigs don’t talk.” He picked up his bucket and left.

“How did he understand you?” Daisy asked. “Are you a magic radish?”

“I don’t think so,” the radish said. “I think all radishes can talk. Perhaps the others have softer, safer beds and sleep more than I do.”

“That makes sense.   I think generations of pigs have packed down the dirt in this pen until it’s quite hard,” Daisy said.

“How is it that you’re the only one left?” The radish asked. “Shouldn’t there be lots of pigs if there’s been pigs here for generations?”

“I don’t know.   Don’t radishes have more than one seed?   Shouldn’t there be more than one of you?” The pig asked.

“It’s just that we’re so incredibly tasty, that someone or something seems to come along and eat most of the radishes, quicker than you can blink. If only we tasted terrible, like skunk cabbage.” The radish sighed.

“I like cabbage,” Daisy said. “But maybe I wouldn’t like bad tasting cabbage.” She scuffed at the hard dirt with a trotter. “Do you think the other pigs got eaten, like your radish relatives?”

“Hmmmm. I think it’s entirely too likely. The humans do seem to be fattening you up for something,” the radish said. “I’m sorry.   I think you’re too young to die too.”

“You have to help me,” Daisy said. “You promised.”

“How?” the radish asked. “Ask him not to eat you? Even if he listens to me, he’ll stop feeding you.”

“Make him believe I’m a valuable talking pig,” Daisy said.

“And when he takes you from the pen and you can’t talk?”

Daisy growled.   “Think of something quickly, or I’ll eat you. All this stress is making me hungry.”

“Ok, ok.   Stop pressuring me. I’ll think of something,” the radish said.

In the morning, Farmer Green came by with a bucket of scraps for Daisy. Daisy came trotting over and eyed the food. Her stomach grumbled and she dove in. The Farmer chuckled.

“Farmer Green,” the radish said. Farmer Green looked around again. “Petting zoos are money-makers, and this pig is unusually friendly. Add a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and maybe some apple cider, and the future is bright.”

Farmer Green scratched his head and looked around again. “Grandma? Is that you? It doesn’t sound like you.”

“Petting zoo,” the radish said again. “Maybe teach the pig a few tricks.”

Farmer Green picked up his bucket. “Right.   Petting zoos. And apple cider.” He marched off, looking determined.

“I think you’re safe for a few more years,” the radish said.

“Great,” Daisy said. “Then I won’t eat you.”

“Thanks,” the radish said.