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Associated Pig Press
Harry Swinedell, Ace Reporter
June 16, 1999

Pilot Penny

Penny PigMeadows has almost earned her pilot's license! Maneuvering herself into a pretty advantageous spot, in this highly touted pre-flight training program, Penny is now considered a shoo-in for getting her wings by week's end. The only thing she has left to do is to make her solo flight, and in good time too, as a major television network has been courting her for a guest appearance later this summer. With her trusted Co-Pilot Alison, at hoof, this pig reporter is sure they'll soon be winging their way into stardom.


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All you pigs out there, beware! Although Penny is helping further the potbelly pig's great reputation for intelligence and excellence in the field of avionics, please read further to see what a pig pilot in your herd may mean for you — if you are not the pilot yourself! This is a woeful tale of preferential treatment, forceful education of information and experiences you did NOT sign up for, and general upheaval in your routine.

It all began last fall when Ali and Dad were allowed to surf the Internet. They just about tripped over me as they hurried to Mom's office after getting clearance to use the new computer. As I heard them talking softly in there, I knew no good could possibly come of this, and sure enough, before long, they had acquired plans for building a hover-craft... So the project began.

Dad bought some supplies at the home improvement store, the one he hates to go to because it usually means there is major work to be done. Then he and Ali dug out something from a big box in the shed that Grandpa had given them a while back. I heard them say they could use it as the engine. I was afraid to ponder this for long, considering that Grandpa worked on the Lunar Module ... you know, that silly looking thing that two-leggers landed on the moon with on their mission to collect — get this — rocks? At this point, I seriously considered eliminating eavesdropping from my daily list of things-to-do.

Well, let me tell you, hams flew alright! That new word was barely out of her mouth whenMom hit the on-switch to that thing from the box Grandpa had sent. Noise of unequaled decibel levels ripped through the house, along with a HERD of Dust Bunnies — all traveling at 185 miles per hour! I know this for a fact, because I passed them on my way out of town!

I also know for a fact that Penny was not hit by that blast of leaf-blowin' air, because the kitchen rug we like to stand on, between the refrigerator and the stove, (two of our favorite food dropping spots) was blown clear across the room and landed partially in Mom's office! So it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the pile of bristles left laying on the living room floor, where Penny had just been standing, simply had been scared out of her! But, as many of you already know, sows are an enigma, at best, and Penny soon returned to the scene, willing to try that new word out again!

As she passed me and Clover on her return trip to the living room, I asked her, "Where in the world are you going?"

As usual, she just put her snooty to the floor and maneuvered steadily across the slick surface. Although my hearing was now surely impaired, I swear I heard her muttering something about "...the few, the proud, the...."

Now get this, when she reached Ali... SHE GOT FOOD!

Being sure that we are almost malnourished, Clover and I only briefly discussed the fastest route we would take to get to the treaty stash Penny was hogging in the other room. Just as our toes touched the living room rug, and it's a good thing they had, Ali calmly said that word again and Mom hit the on-switch from only a few feet behind us. Had our front feet not been on the secure surface of carpeting, I'm not sure what horrible fate may have befallen us, or that I would even be here to report to you today. But as always, the Great Pig in Hog Heaven must have taken pity upon us for the stupid antics our two-leggers insisted on continuing. As we launched ourselves into space, without the help of the blast of air that now blew the dining room rug into a knot around the chair legs, we found ourselves clear across the living room, next to our sacred and beloved blankie pile. Still unsure how we managed to make it there in one swift motion, we never-the-less dove for cover and vowed to get Penny back one day ... that is, if we could find her.

Just below the breaking point of ear drums, that engine roared on for a whole week. Oh, it wasn'tPenney's flightdeck confined to the living room, either. The very next day we were forced to enjoy our meals outdoors with that thing blowing and screaming away. Ali stuffed her ears with cotton, and Mom always talked real loud once it was turned off, but Penny didn't seem to mind. She kept her bowl right next to that darned thing! As a matter of fact, in three days time, whenever Ali would say the word, "LOUD!" Penny would start foaming! Yup, she knew alright that food was about to appear.

Pigs everywhere have been made to endure the false belief that they will do anything for food. Let me tell you that this is not true! I, Harry Swinedell, am a pig, but I will not eat my supper in the shed if it means I have to walk the plank first. (Well, unless it's the new, reinforced one that Dad made for the snowblower.) And I will not go near that hover-craft, either. Not for all the popcorn in my dreams. I don't care what's in that bowl. Nope! Not Me! But, Clover did, and I respect him for it, too.

A herd leader's responsibility is to be sure treaties are shared equally by all. Even though Penny is the only one who wants to learn to fly, it doesn't mean she is the only one who gets all the treats. So, as a top-notch negotiator, Clover butted in one day, plunked his chin on that flying contraption ~ while it was being LOUD — and worked it out with Ali that whenever Penny is learning to fly, me and him get to turn around or sit pretty, and receive our rewards. Not bad, huh?

However, as time goes on, more scandals are beginning to surface. Now we are being forced to wait for our breakfast and dinner in the foyer, while Penny gets to wait in the kitchen! After what seems like hours of agonizing waiting — you know, that time it takes mom to wash the bowl, put food in it along with some extra special stuff, and a bit of water — all without being able to foam her leg or step on her toes, me and Clover have to go out to our regular spot to eat while Penny eats IN THE HOUSE! Because we're outside, we can't tell if she is getting something we're not, and plainly it is a case of discrimination. It's like she's eating in the Officer's Mess Hall or something. She even told us the other day, and may I add very snootily, that she is a pilot now so she gets different stuff. This must be true because as she was looking down her snooty at us, me and Clover could DEFINITELY smell garlicky, mashed potato breath ... the SAME breath that Mom, Ali, and Dad had!!! Me and Clove looked at each other and snorted forcibly so that we could check each other's breath, but there was no doubt about it... garlicky, mashed potatoes had not been in our dinner bowls that night!

This leads me to yet another point, one that can prove all of my statements here... >Secret Video Hoofage! Yes, it's true. This Ace Reporter, has secured video film clips of Penny's Flight School Training Program... The WHOLE thing! I have it stashed in a safe house. This uncut, unedited film shows the whole process of pig-pilot training. Co-Pilot Ali narrates most of the various segments, so it is painfully easy to understand.

Clover is working on duplication of this priceless videotape, and we should have copies available for distribution later this year. Be advised, it has been rated MPO (mature pigs only)! We do not wish to be responsible for the fate of young, impressionable pigs swayed by what they see, then deciding to take flight lessons, themselves. Nor would we wish to be responsible for pigs everywhere who get emotionally damaged by seeing Penny receive ALL THOSE TREATS while they sit, watching a TV screen, without even a bowl of popcorn. You are forewarned.

As I close, let me end by saying that Clover and I are very proud of the good work Penny is doing to promote pigs and their capabilities. And, we will stand behind her as she and Ali fly off into the sunset on their LOUD hover-craft.... Never mind that the electrical cord is only 12 feet long... We're sure they'll go far because I heard mom say, "Perhaps we need to get a gas powered leaf blower."

Going far is our deepest hope for them, too, and I encourage all of you to keep this same hope in your prayers to the Great Pig. We are confident that Ali will return, but as for Pilot Penny PigMeadows ... who knows, perhaps it will be read in future history books that Pigs DO Fly, and as the first one to publicly do so, maybe she'll get a big contract to tour the world?

Ali and Penny

Oh yeah, sure ... we'd miss her ... but something tells this Ace Reporter that she'll never really leave home. Are you kidding? Not with the preferential treatment she gets here! However, we all must have a dream.

Signing off - from the ground -
Harry Swinedell, Ace Reporter Associated Pig Press





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