Three Little Pigs

This is a play that was written at MADD Camp in Oct 05.

The idea of a wolf blowing down houses seemed absurd to us, so the best solution I could think of was a scenario where the houses are blown down in strong wind, but the pigs attribute it to a wolf who is visiting, and that the wolf says something that sounds to the pigs like “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down”.

We began with three scenes (not written here) in which the pigs introduce their houses. After them comes the three scenes with the wolf. After working out how to write the key lines (written in bold) it seemed best to write the whole section in triple time with lines of 10-12 syllables. This is the metre used in most of Dr Seuss’ stories.

W standing outside P1’s house.
W: I work for the Council. I visit those fools
Who have trouble abiding by all of the rules.
Their music’s too loud or their rates are unpaid
Or we’re unimpressed by the houses they’ve made.
First on the list is a pig whose abode
Is all made of straw – that’s a breach of the code.
W knocks on door.
W: Good day. Are you there?
P1: Who is it?
W: I’m from the Council. I’m paying a visit.
Somebody back in the office has found
That the structure of your lovely house is unsound.
You need stuff that is tough when wind’s blowing through town.
Just one puff is enough, it could blow your house down!
The house blows down. P1 runs away screaming.
W: It collapsed just like that? What a nasty surprise.
I talk about wind and in front of my eyes
The whole house turns into a pile of straw
Which is fine, ‘cause it’s not my concern any more.
W flips to next page on clipboard
My clip board now shows me the next thing to do.
The next one’s a breach of the building code too.

P1 and P2 in P2’s house.
P1: You know my old dwelling, the one made of straw,
A wolf came along and she knocked on my door.
She shouted to me, with a big angry frown,
“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”
That’s what she shouted, unless I’m misled
Which can’t be the case, ‘cause as soon as she said
“I’ll blow you house down”, I felt straw on my head!
The whole house collapsed as that wicked wolf blew.
Then I ran straight away, without stopping, to you.
This wolf is a villain! She’s out there to eat us
P2: Well if that’s the case then we can’t let her beat us.
She may come knocking, but we will resist!
W has come to the house.
W: This one looks like the next house on the list.
W knocks. The pigs are scared and ignore her.
W: Good morning, there’s things that we need to discuss.
I’m from the Council, it won’t be much fuss.
The folks in the office have reason to hiss you.
You house has a serious structural issue.
I saw a house fall in a heap just this morning
So listen to me now and please heed my warning:
You need stuff that is tough when wind’s blowing through town.
Just one puff is enough, it will blow your house down!
P2: She’ll blow this house down – that’s a serious threat.
I reckon that she’s the worst villain we’ve met.
W: Please come and open the door, oh, you must.
P2: I will not let you in. You’re not one I can trust.
The house blows over and the pigs run away screaming.

In P3’s house, all the pigs are there.
P2: We’re now at a crisis! A wolf is in town.
She came to our houses and blew them both down.
She blows with such strength that no building can take it.
P3: No building? Well that all depends how you make it.
Under my roof you have nothing to fear.
My house is..
P1: Aaah! Look!
P2: She’s here!
W knocks on the door and the pigs ignore her again.
W: Good morning, sir. Look, I have something to say
That’s important. Your rates. Are you going to pay?
As far as I know you are seven months late.
For my friends at the office, that’s too long to wait.
It’s no bluff! I don’t huff! There are laws in this town!
P1 & P2: She’ll huff and she’ll puff and she’ll blow the house down!
P3: As I was trying to tell you before,
My house won’t fall over like your house of straw.
It would have been cheaper to use straw or sticks
But I was much wiser and built it with bricks.
No matter what strikes it, whatever the weather,
The bricks of my house will stay safely together.
A concrete foundation is under the floor.
A reliable lock is built into the door.
The walls and the roof will no doubt pass the test.
You may stay here with me, for my house is the best.
W: They won’t let me in, but I’ve got a good plan.
I’ll climb up on top of the roof if I can.
And slide down the chimney and talk to him straight.
No excuses for paying your council rates late.
W starts climbing up the roof.
P1: She’s climbing the roof.
P2: That looks rather daring.
P3: But I can foresee the bold move she’s preparing.
Let’s crank up the heat! Though she now wants to eat us
That won’t be the first thing on her mind when she’ll meet us.
W: It can’t be hard if Father Christmas can do it
He’s fatter than I, so there can’t be much to it.
P3 has turned the fire on. W comes down the chimney and gets burnt in the fireplace.
W: Aah! The fire! I’m burnt to the core!
P1: She’ll learn not to chase after us any more.
W: You’ll hear from our lawyer! I’m going to sue!
P2: You’re crooked, the court will not listen to you.
W: Oh, the pain, I’m going in search of cold water.
W runs away.
P3: It’s over. We’re safe now. I knew we could thwart her.
P2: I’m going to ring up my publisher friend.
He’ll write up our tale from beginning to end.
P2 talks on the phone.
P2: How’s it going? Have I got a story for you!
So crazy you’d never believe it was true.

For each house we had 2-3 strips of paper, 50cm wide and 3m high. The straw and stick houses has straw and sticks stuck on the paper, while the brick house had bricks drawn in. On the back wall was drawn a fireplace – one picture of an empty fireplace, and one with a fire in it. When P3 turns the fire on, he folded a flap down so we go from the former to the latter. Stagehands held each strip up and dropped it (along with me throwing down some wooden blocks offstage) to signify the houses collapsing.

I’ve just written quite a story
Given to me by my friend
Could have turned out rather gory
But it came right in the end

I’m the local council’s lawyer
Titled with an L. L. B.
I’ve got quite a story for ya
Listen closely and you’ll see

Stories this good take some telling
Three good pigs, who I won’t name
Each one had their own new dwelling
Till a hungry wolfie came

My good friend I’m representing
She’s a wolf, she’s short and thin
Hear the charges I’m presenting
It’s assault! I think we’ll win

How she did it I still wonder
But with an almighty puff
Blew two pigs’ new homes asunder
Straw and sticks weren’t good enough

The big bad wolf / The small thin wolf
Came by the house of straw
The wolf she blew / A strong wind blew
The straw house was no more
The big bad wolf / My friend the wolf
Came by the house of sticks
And then the wolf / A gust of wind
Made things too hard to fix

Like a man without his trousers
Were the pigs without their houses
And they ran away in terror
We can now point out their error
To make a house that’s lasting
That withstands the strong wind’s blasting
Use material that’s stronger
It will last a whole lot longer

The pigs were all / holed up inside
The dwelling made of brick
They didn’t let / her in so she
Tried out a daring trick
To eat the pigs / Collecting rates
That was the wolf’s main aim
She didn’t see / a pig inside
Was turning up the flame

The defendant lit a fire up
So my client would get burnt
When she came inside from higher up
That’s what happened, as I’ve learnt

Buy the book, this thrilling story
Wolf breaks houses, pigs unnerved
Pigs hit back and get the glory
Wolf gets just what she deserved

From this case that I will lay out
To the district magistrate
I expect she’ll get a payout
That will serve to compensate