For the Busy Business-
Whimsical Bedtime Stories
for Children of All Ages


The Pig Who Wanted To Fly
This was the interim version of this story before professional illustrations were added.
The NEW version after illustrations is HERE

Pendelton was a chubby little piglet with a big dream.

Clarence and Clarissa, the other piglets in the pig pen, dreamed of winning Blue Ribbons at the Annual Agricultural Show but not Pendelton. His dream was much more exciting. Pendelton dreamed that someday, someway, somehow he would fly!

It all started the day Pendelton saw a toy balloon. It was round and pink and floating above the road by the farmhouse. He had never seen a balloon before so naturally he thought is was another piglet just like him.

"Wow!" squealed Pendelton, "Just look at that chubbylittle piglet fly! I sure wish I could do that."

Bathsheba, the biggest and oldest pig in the pen lifted her head up from the trough where she was eating and smiled. "That's not a piglet, that's a balloon." she said. "Unlike chubby little piglets, it's very lightweight, that's why it can fly."

The pink balloon drifted lazily in the air then soared up and looped around on a gust of wind before floating over the yard. It was the most beautiful and graceful thing Pendelton had ever seen. From that day on all he wanted to do was fly. Awake or asleep Pendelton dreamed about drifting, looping around on the wind and floating through the sky just like the pink balloon.
He began to spend most of his days sitting in the middle of the pig pen staring upwards, searching for another balloon. Clarence and Clarissa thought he was silly, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

When no other balloons drifted by, Pendelton began noticing how little insects jumped up and seemed to catch the wind to fly. He couldn't understand why whenever he jumped up he came back down again with a thump. Sometimes it hurt, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.
He began to watch the birds to learn how they managed to stay in the air. He saw they had feathers and wings, things he didn't have, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.
Every day Bathsheba watched him. She would shake her head and say, "Pendelton you are a PIG. You are not a bug. You are not a bird. You are not a balloon. You can NOT fly!" Every day she would explain to Pendelton the difference between flying creatures with wings, lightweight balloons full of air and chubby little piglets, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

"Get your head out of the clouds! You are a fine pig, be proud of what you are." Bathsheba snorted angrily. "Pigs are supposed to eat a lot and grow fat like Clarence. See how nice and round he's getting? Pigs are supposed to roll in the mud to soothe their skin like Clarissa. Just look at how her hide glows. Pigs are supposed to snooze on the clean straw instead of jumping up and down. Pigs are supposed to grow big and shiny and win blue ribbons at the Annual Agricultural Show. Pigs are NOT supposed to fly!" Bathsheba snorted again. But that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

Pendelton knew what pigs were supposed to do but he didn't think it was very exciting. He looked up to the sky again and dreamed of just how wonderful it would be to fly high above the pig pen, the farm and the countryside, just once. Spring arrived as it does every year, and with it came the Annual Agricultural Show.

One day Bathsheba, Clarissa, Clarence, and Pendelton were loaded into the back of the Farmer's pick-up truck and taken to the Show Grounds. Bathsheba had been many times before so she was quite relaxed. She lay down in a corner of the truck, closed her eyes and thought of all the ribbons she had won in her youth. She was proud the Farmer continued to bring her to the Show and enter her in Competitions.

It was the first time Pendelton, Clarissa and Clarence attended an Agricultural Show so they were excited. Clarissa and Clarence tried to be calm. They didn't want to lose any weight pacing around in the back of the truck so they lay down next to Bathsheba.

Not Pendelton, he didn't want to be calm he wanted to see everything. From the back of the open pick-up truck things looked different. High off the ground and with the wind whistling past his ears, it was easier for Pendelton to imagine what it would be like to fly.

As the truck drove along the road Pendelton squealed with joy as he trotted from one side of the truck to the other, trying to see all there was to see and catch as much wind in his face as possible. Bathsheba, Clarissa and Clarence thought he was behaving as silly as usual. They ignored him and huddled close to each other waiting for the journey to be over.

Finally they arrived at the Show Grounds. Pendelton was thrilled by all the bright colours, strange noises and new smells. Then he saw the most wonderful things of all - Strange Flying Machines! He saw a huge wheel that reached from the ground to very high up in the air. It turned around but didn't go forward. People sat in seats attached to the wheel and laughed happily as it turned.
He saw people enter cars that began to whirl and spin, swoop up and down and loop around. The faster it spun and higher it looped, the louder the people screeched with delight.

He looked up and saw a line of chairs attached to a thick cable. People were sitting in the chairs dangling their feet, pointing and calling as they moved slowly over the Show Grounds.

Pendelton thought it was all a magical wonderful dream and yet he was certainly awake. Then he saw what he was looking for - BALLOONS!

Pendelton spied a stall that sold very large, brightly coloured, helium-filled balloons. The balloons seemed to stretch up to the sky, tugging at their strings, struggling to be free to float above the crowd. Pendelton knew just how they felt.

The truck stopped at last and the Farmer put Pendelton, Clarissa, and Clarence into one pen then led Bathsheba to another one further along. "Be good little piglets now," Bathsheba warned. "Good luck in your Competitions!" Clarissa went straight to the clean straw in the corner to snooze while Clarence headed toward the trough to eat, but Pendelton wanted to see as much of the Show Grounds as he could.

He stood by the pen's gate and pushed his nose through the narrow opening. He searched for the balloon stall and looked for different flying things. In his excitement Pendelton pushed too hard and the gate eased open a little bit more, just enough for a chubby little piglet to squeeze through. Pendelton was free!

Clarence called out, "Pendelton where are you going, you'll get lost, come back!"

Clarissa called, "Pendelton, you will miss your Competition, come back!" Their squeals caught the Farmer's attention and he came over to the pen to see if his piglets were all OK. The Farmer noticed the opening in the gate and one piglet missing.

Looking around he saw Pendelton heading toward the balloon stall. The Farmer raised the alarm and together with other farmers chased after Pendelton. They wanted to catch him and bring him back to the safety of the pen. Pendelton heard the shouting and saw the men running towards him. He became frightened and took off.

He trotted past the cake stall upsetting the ladies, he tripped through the pork-pie stall upsetting the trays and tumbled into the balloon stall upsetting himself. Pendelton landed on his back and began kicking his legs to turn himself right side up but all he managed to do was get tangled up in something.

The 'something' was strings of the helium-filled balloons that tied them down to a heavy weight. Pendelton's wild kicking tore the strings from the weight and his twisting about tightened the strings around him.

Before anyone knew what was happening, the balloons started to rise taking the chubby little piglet with them. Pendelton stopped kicking when he realised he was being lifted off the ground by the big bunch of large, brightly coloured, helium-filled balloons.

Up, up he rose, higher than the whirling, spinning, looping machine, higher than the chairs moving over the Show Grounds, higher than the big turning wheel. "Hooray!" shouted Pendelton, "I'm Flying!"

He looked down and saw all the people below him running and yelling, they looked so small. As Pendelton floated out of the Show Grounds he saw the Farmer getting into his pick-up truck.

Pendelton thought flying was great fun when he drifted over the town. Busses stopped and people got out to look up and point at him. When he sailed over the countryside he was alone and just a little nervous.

When he passed over the Farm and saw his empty pig pen he became slightly scared. "I think I want to get down now." he thought. But Pendelton didn't know how to land. Then he was really frightened. "I Want To Get Down! I Want To Go Home! HEEEELP!" he squealed.

The colourful balloons and loud squealing attracted three curious birds. They glided through the air and circled around Pendelton. It all seemed very strange to them.

One bird cooed, "You are an odd bird indeed. Where are your wings?"

"Perhaps he's a strange type of bug." peeped another bird.

A third bird flew around the balloons, "He's very pretty and so colourful." she chirped.

"I'm not a bird or a bug, I'm a chubby little piglet and thankyou, but it's the balloons that are colourful, not me. I don't have wings because pigs aren't meant to fly." said Pendelton. Then he began to sob, "Please, I want to be on the ground. Can you help me?"

The three birds fluttered around the pig and the balloons until they thought of a way to help Pendelton make a soft landing. With their sharp beaks the birds began to pop the balloons - slowly, one by one. As the big bunch of balloons grew smaller, Pendelton drifted closer to the ground. Just as he was beginning to feel safe, he found himself tangled in the branches of a tree.

Before he could get frightened all over again, the Farmer arrived in his pick-up truck. The Farmer plucked Pendelton from the tree, tucked him into a warm sack, put him on the front seat of the truck and took him home to the pig pen. Oh how good the trough, the mud and the straw looked to Pendelton, especially from down here on the ground! Within moments Pendelton, the chubby little piglet, nestled in the clean straw, fell into a happy, dreamless sleep.

The Pig Who Wanted To Fly - By Judith McGrath - Copyright 1998

About the Author: Judith McGrath of Kalamunda, Western Australia. Judy is a free-lance journalist and reviewer on the visual arts in Australia. Her children have left the nest but her grandchildren fly in and out. She has found they, like good artists, inspire her to view the ordinary from a different perspective and gain a new appreciation for the world. Some of her stories attempt to tap into that perspective while others are just her way of saying 'Thank You'. Write to Judy at  

Interim Illustrations Courtesy of Bedtime-Story
Amol Pattekar, Technical Yahoo - Ferris Wheel

Read Another Bedtime Story?