Sam looked up from his laptop, relieved that normality was returning and excited by the prospect of his story leading today’s issue of The Swamp Sentinel…
Stretching back over his lily-pad; the largest in the typing pool; he reflected on how quickly the whole trauma ended; but then, living in a swamp provided many times for reflection.
Like all frogs, Sam enjoyed a continual smorgasbord banquet of insects—all at the flick of a tongue—endorsing their simple philosophy: Time’s fun when you’re having flies…
If frogs sensed any nearby fish displaying gastronomic ambitions, they only had to leap from the water to be safe. This double-life was good; despite critics dismissing their genus as amphibiguous.
Yet trouble had kept percolating.
Constantly losing friends and relatives was causing the flies considerable grief—which was gnatural enough—but this grief was being exploited by a small political pressure-group, with a stated aim of shaking off what they had labelled as blatant toadtalitarianism.
Relations with Ants were much more complex. Some were Antisocial; some just had to be avoided—like MalevolAnt who idolized Antilla the Hun. AdamAnt was never co-operAntive, but others were more benevolAnt, with swamp life completely reliAnt on StagnAnt to minimise the water flow.
But two weeks ago the pressure-group flies had unexpectedly unleashed their champion—a Goliath of Grime; a Monster of Miasma—a Superfly so huge that lily-pads were no longer safe. He began buzzing the frogs in high-speed fly-bys; effortlessly breaking free of any tongues that flicked his way. Some tongues had been so maimed that their owners were unable to communicate what had happened.
Larger frogs had boasted about turning Superfly into their personal Supperfly, but this monster was absolutely impervious to their best efforts.
Their despair would have remained, had it not been for a neglectful farmer nearby.
The fetid fragrance of the swamp had kept teasing his hogs, making them lean more heavily against the rotting, wooden railings of the pens that were closest to the source of this tantalizing aroma.
Then, Sam learned that last night the herd had felt these feeble railings collapse, to open up an escape to hog heaven. After all, why sty around?
Slime, scum and other detritus sprayed in all directions as this squealing, grunting mass of porcine propulsion launched itself into the darkness of the swamp. Nothing was safe from the onslaught of this cacophonous swine stampede; but it was a storm which could not last.
Woken by the noise—yes dear reader, he’d herd of hogs—the farmer roused his family and farmhands from their slumber, and led them all down to the swamp. Yelling and screaming, they slopped and slapped their way through the morass, until they had extricated the last of the animals and got them back to the farm, where he slammed the barn door shut behind them.
Fragile peace had returned to the swamp.
Sam had risen at dawn to investigate and to interview any witnesses who might nail the story. He needed a balanced approach, as he knew his readers’ views were a tad pole-arised.
But what was he now seeing, in the horizontal glare of first sunlight?
Could this be the massive, misshapen corpse of his genus’ nemesis? Had Superfly actually been crushed against a tree?
It was too good to be true!
The story quickly crystallized in his mind, but under what headline? Searching for a potential grabber, he toyed with a reverse allusion to the miracle of water turning into wine—only here the swine had turned into the water. But no, too oblique.
Suddenly his mind was invaded by a terse—or worse…
“PIGS SMITE FLY!”
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