Does the Pig? by Nick Story

Does the pig run? 

Does the pig run and jump over the fence? 

Does the pig, fleeing the farmer, run toward the fence, to jump the fence? 

Does the pig, fleeing the farmer, who is brandishing a dull rusty knife, run toward the fence, which is in disrepair, and leap into a kind of freedom? 

Does the pig, fleeing the balding farmer, who is brandishing a dull and rusty knife, a knife he inherited from his grandfather, speed toward the fence, rotten from termites and broken by teenagers the night before, to find himself in freedom? 

Does the wiry-haired pig, fleeing the bald overweight farmer, the man who is holding tight to his grandfather’s knife, a knife used to cull generations of pigs, flee toward the broken-down fence, sailing over it to freedom?

Does the pig with wiry white hair, who just this morning was concentrating on a mud pool he favored, run from the farmer—who looks like he is at death’s door to be honest—and yet who is still white-knuckling a knife, a knife he got from his grandad, a knife used to slaughter pigs over many decades, a knife that was once iron in a quiet hillside, does this pig run to toward the fence, broken by local teens during a night of drunken balance beaming—though the teens were only a proximate cause since the slats had been weakened by termites—to freedom?

Does our friend the pig, covered in mud from his favorite mud pool, run from the hungry farmer who loves his knife, the knife that Pappy gave him to spill gallons of porcine blood, a knife that was once quiet iron living, in its way, inside a hill, does this very pig zoom on over toward a fence—a fence used the night before in a balancing act by two teenage girls staying out later than they told their parents they would, drinking from a bottle of wine—and pass into a realm of freedom?

Does the muddy pig, who was recently having some of his best mud thoughts and mud sensations in his mud pool, fly from a farmer who wields his grandpa’s knife—a knife used in the past for killing animals but before that was just sitting there in the dark earth—fly from the farmer and toward the fence, luckily broken by two teens under the moonlight—teens who, the night before laughed when the wood snapped and caught each other—and does the prenominated pig, picking up speed near the end, jump gracefully over the broken fence into freedom?

Does the pig belong to a trinity we might call “knife—pig—man,” a configuration in which the man dreams of being a knife, the knife dreams of being iron in a hill, and the pig dreams of being a drunk teenage girl balancing on a narrow, rotted board, the same board whose nocturnal collapse has cleared the way for the pig to jump into freedom? 

No, no. The pig stays where he is. 


Nick Story is from Columbus, Ohio. His fiction has appeared in The Normal School, The Indiana Review, Monkey Bicycle, and The Common. His website is