By OPAL "GRANDMA " HABISCH
I am a little pot belly pig named Fred. All of the other pigs say I'm not really a pig because I live in a house with my friend, Joe.
"Don't you guys live in a house, too?" I asked them.
"Heck, no!" they told me. "We live in a pig barn."
"Oh, that must be awful," I said.
"No," they said. "It is good. When we roll in the mud, we can still go in and go to bed."
Oh my, I could never live like that. You see, I have a box that I sleep in. And I eat out of a dish. Those pigs eat right off of the ground.
"You know, Fred, you need to try our way of living," the pigs said to me. "Come and roll in the mud with us."
"Oh, no," I said. "No, Joe would never let me do that. I must keep clean. In fact, Joe gives me baths, and sometimes he even uses bubble bath. It makes me smell really good."
The other pigs started laughing. They said I smelled like a sweet pea and called me "Bubbles."
I hated it when they laughed at me. I like to be clean. But still, I wonder how it would feel to roll in the mud.
The next day Joe said, "I will be gone all day. I will put food in your dish for you to eat. You must be a good little pig while I'm gone."
"Oh yes, I will," I promised.
I stayed in the house and watched tv. Then I heard someone outside calling me. "Hey, Fred," the voice said, "come outside. We want to smell you." I could hear the pigs laughing.
It made me very angry. I stomped outside and said, "What do you want?"
"I bet you can't get into our pigpen," they said.
"I bet I can," I said.
"Then do it," they said.
I went to the fence but I couldn't find a way to get in. The only place that was big enough for me to get through was full of mud. I didn't want to get dirty. What should I do?
"A bet is a bet," they said.
So I squeezed through the muddy opening. I knew Joe would be mad at me. I tried to shake the mud off, but my skin was dirty too. I started to cry because I knew I was in trouble.
A big pig felt sorry for me and said, "Crawl back out of the pen and go over there where they are watering the lawn. The water will help you get the mud off."
I ran to the sprinkler. The water was really cold but it did start getting me clean.
All of a sudden, I looked up and there was Joe. He said, "What a good boy you are, taking a bath all by yourself. Come and I will dry you off. I have some fresh carrots for you, too."
I went into the house and got dried off. Joe gave me the carrots and I took them outside where I shared them with all of the other pigs.
"Why are you sharing your carrots with us, Fred?" the pigs asked. "We played a trick on you, but you are being so good to us."
"Well," I said, "you helped me get clean again before Joe came home. I know that we can be friends. And you know what? I did like the mud bath. Thank you for letting me try it."
Children, remember, there is always good in everybody. Be good to everyone and they will be good to you.