It was a hot day. All his huffing and puffing worked up quite a thirst and Horace couldn’t drink his iced tea fast enough. The large wolf smacked his lips, a languid yawn showing off two rows of gleaming white teeth.
“Done yet?” He cupped a large paw while calling out to the small house only a few yards away.
He could hear hushed whispers and the scraping of wood upon wood. It was a useless endeavor. This was a timeless tradition of wolf against pig and this particular house was only made of sticks.
“You’d think they’d learn by now.” Horace growled a throaty chuckle, head tipped as he lapped at the remaining drops of amber liquid.
“Go away you mean ol’ wolf!” Two sets of beady eyes and pink ears appeared in the front window. He saw a flash of hoof before a rock was tossed sloppily in his direction.
It missed, of course.
Horace never really understood the purpose of this particular custom. The idea was to find poorly made houses, blow them down, and eat the pigs inside. Why they continued to build such flimsy structures was indeed a mystery and he was beginning to question the intelligence of the entire species.
“I’m about ready out here.” Horace bent toward the ground, placing his glass beside a half-filled pitcher. He felt it only fair to give the silly creatures a little warning.
“Not by the hair-“
“Oh please.” The large wolf laughed, several strides bringing him to stand only a few feet before the structure. “Can’t you pigs come up with anything original?” He drew a few deep breaths, preparing his lungs for the task at hand.
As soon as he’d approached, the two swine scurried from the window. He heard them grunting and squealing from inside and could detect the strong scent of their rising fear.
This caused the wolf to pause. It always seemed a little unfair to him, taking advantage of their stupidity to simply fill his stomach. The act of blowing down houses was somewhat entertaining but he never quite enjoyed devouring the helpless inhabitants.
Horace’s father always pressed upon him the importance of this tradition. According to him, it was the responsibility of the strong to devour the weak. His own father had passed this along to him and so on and so forth.
Furry paws curled around the window’s sill and he peered inside. Against the far wall were two small pigs. They were on all fours, heads buried in the corner with tiny rumps pointed ridiculously toward the ceiling.
He howled in laughter, head whipping back while extended claws steadied him upon the frame. The frightened creatures rocked back and forth and Horace almost expected to see their tails curl and uncurl in rhythm with their movements.
“Hey.” He attempted to soften his tone which is not easy for a wolf to do. “There’s some tea out here if you want some.”
They squealed at the sound of his voice, twin hooves flying up to cover their heads.
This brought a toothy smile to the wolf’s features as he pushed away from the house. For the first time in years, he felt inspired to whistle while returning to the woods.
It was time to begin a new tradition.
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