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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Tired Mama

If you were to look at Toby's farm, you'd think it was always quiet and peaceful and you'd be wrong. All day long Bessie chased her two piglets around. Now she lay sleeping in the mud.

It had started out at sunrise. The rooster crowed, as he usually did, and the two piglets, Harmony and Piper, had sprung to life with demands for breakfast.

“I want cantaloupe and honeydew melon,” said Harmon.

“I want apples and pears,” said Piper.

Their papa, Walter, opened one of his eyes and then went back to sleep.

Seeing that she was going to get no help that morning, Bessie took Harmony and Piper to get breakfast.

Farmer Toby poured chunks of turnips, potatoes, corn, apples, pears and carrots into the trough.

Piper beamed. “Apples and pears!” She gobbled a few pieces down.

Harmony refused to eat. “I want melon.” She ran away, heading for the barn.

Bessie sighed. “Piper, you stay here and eat while I go and find Harmony.” She ran off to chase the piglet.

Harmony ran straight into the barn and hid under a pile of hay. “I'm not eating apples and pears. I want cantaloupe.”

Bessie came in and looked in the horse stalls, behind the tractor and around Farmer Toby's tools, but didn't see Harmony.

Just then the piglet sneezed.

“Ah ha,” said Bessie. She noticed Harmony's tail sticking out of the hay, grabbed hold of it and pulled her out. “You're coming with me to eat breakfast.” Bessie had to pull the fighting piglet by her tail all the way to the trough. “Now you eat.” While Harmony reluctantly ate pieces of turnip, Bessie noticed Piper was missing. She looked to the left and she looked to the right and happened to see Piper's curly tail disappearing around the side of the farm house. “Stay here, Harmony. Eat!” Bessie ran after Piper.

Piper chased the ducks and geese. She loved how the waddled and spread their wings when they ran. She even stopped to pick up a feather and carried it on her mouth. When they all ran into the pond, Piper followed them in.

Bessie got to the top of the hill and saw Piper. “Pigs can't swim!” She shouted at her piglet. “Oh dear.” She ran as fast as she could and when she reached the pond all she could see was Piper's squiggly tail poking out of the water. Bessie grabbed it and pulled Piper out of the pond. “You get over to that rough and eat your breakfast.”

Piper coughed and dripped pond water all the way to the trough.

Bessie was relieved to see Harmony standing with a carrot in her mouth. “We're off now to have our baths, except for Piper, who's already had hers.” They went to the pond. “You stay right here,” Bessie said to Piper, who sat on the grass near the water's edge. Bessie took Harmony into the pond and washed the mashed carrots off her face.

Piper watched the ducks swimming about and heard them quacking.

When Harmony was finished being bathed, Bessie put her on the grass next to Piper. “I'm going to swim for a few minutes. You both stay right there.” She dove under the water and popped up in the middle of the pond, floating on her back.

Piper and harmony heard a noise and turned to see what it was. Two big green frogs hopped into the bushes, croaking. The pigs ran after them.

When Bessie got out of the pond, she couldn't see the piglets anywhere. She searched all around the pond, ran back to the trough, looked in the barn and at the side of Farmer Toby's house, but there was no sign of the piglets. Tired and fed up from worry, Bessie went back to the mud hole to have Walter help her look. There sat Harmony and Piper next to him, grins spread across their chubby pink faces. Bessie collapsed in the mud and fell asleep.

Piper looked up at her papa. “What's wrong with Mama? She looks worn out.”

“What did you do today to make her so tired?” Walter looked at his girls.

“Nothing, Papa. Nothing.”

And Walter sighed.

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