Bedtime-Story For the Busy Business-Parent
Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

The Pig
Who Wanted
To Fly

Pendelton was a chubby little piglet with a big dream.

Clarence and Clarissa, the other piglets who shared the pig pen with Pendelton, dreamed of winning Blue Ribbons at the Annual Agricultural Show.

Not Pendelton.

His own dream was much more exciting.

Pendelton dreamed that someday, someway, somehow, he would become a pig who could fly !

Pendelton's fixation with flying came about one day when he happened to look up and spied a balloon floating by.

The balloon had drifted lazily through the sky and sailed over the farmhouse.

Pendelton had never seen a balloon before. The balloon was round and pink and so was he, so naturally Pendelton thought it must be a little pink piglet floating through the air.

"Wow!" squealed Pendelton, "Just look at that chubby little piglet fly! I sure wish I could do that."

Bathsheba, the biggest and oldest pig in the pen, lifted her head up from the trough where she was eating. "That's not a piglet, that's a balloon." she said with a smile. "Unlike chubby little piglets, balloons are very lightweight, that's why they can fly."

The pink balloon drifted lazily in the air, then soared up and looped around on a gust of wind, before floating over the yard. It was the most beautiful and graceful thing Pendelton had ever seen. From that day on, all he wanted to do was fly. Awake or asleep, Pendelton constantly dreamed about drifting and looping around on the wind, and floating through the sky just like the pink balloon.

Pendelton began to spend most of his days sitting in the middle of the pig pen staring up at the sky, searching for another balloon.

Clarence and Clarissa thought he was silly, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

When no other balloons drifted by, Pendelton began noticing how little insects jumped up and seemed to catch the wind to fly.
Unfortunately Pendelton couldn't understand why whenever he jumped up, he came right back down again with a great big thump.

Sometimes it hurt to land flat on his face, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

He began to watch the birds, trying to learn how they managed to stay in the air. He saw they had feathers and wings, things he didn't have, but that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

Every day Bathsheba watched him. She would shake her head and say, "Pendelton you are a PIG. You are not a bug. You are not a bird. You are not a balloon.

You can NOT fly!"

Every day Bathsheba would try to explain to Pendelton the difference between flying creatures with wings, lightweight balloons full of air, and chubby little piglets, but that still didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

"Get your head out of the clouds, Pendelton! You are a fine pig, so just be proud of what you are," Bathsheba snorted angrily.

"Pigs are supposed to eat a lot and grow fat like Clarence. See how nice and round he's getting?

Pigs are supposed to roll in the mud to soothe their skin like Clarissa. Just look at how her hide glows.

Pigs are supposed to snooze on the clean straw instead of jumping up and down.

Pigs are supposed to grow big and shiny and win blue ribbons at the Annual Agricultural Show.

Pigs are NOT supposed to fly!" snorted Bathsheba.

But that didn't stop Pendelton from dreaming.

Pendelton knew what pigs were supposed to do of course, but he just didn't think it was very exciting.

He looked up to the sky again and dreamed of how wonderful it would be to fly high above the pig pen, high above the farm, and the countryside, even if he could only do it once.

Not long afterwards spring arrived, as it does every year, and with it, came the Annual Agricultural Show. The show, very similar to a County Fair, is where all the area's farmers could display samples of prize-winning crops, and show off their best looking livestock. The Annual Agricultural Show also had carnival rides, and cotton candy, games to play, competitions to enter, and good things to eat.

On the day of the show, Bathsheba, Clarissa, Clarence, and Pendelton were loaded into the back of the farmer's pick-up truck, and taken to the showgrounds.

Bathsheba had been to the show many times before, so she was quite relaxed. She lay down in a corner of the truck, closed her eyes and thought of all the blue ribbons she had won in her youth.

She was quite proud of the fact that the farmer continued to bring her to the show and enter her in competitions.

It was the first time Pendelton, Clarissa and Clarence had been invited to attend an Agricultural Show, so naturally they were excited. Clarissa and Clarence tried to act as if they made this trip all the time though, so the two of them lay down next to Bathsheba.

Not Pendelton. He wanted to see everything. From the back of the open pick-up truck things looked different. High off the ground and with the wind whistling past his ears, it was easier for Pendelton to imagine what it would be like to fly.

As the truck drove along the road, Pendelton squealed with joy. He trotted from one side of the truck to the other, trying to see all there was to see, and catch as much wind in his face as possible.

Bathsheba, Clarissa and Clarence thought Pendelton's behavior was every bit as silly as usual. They ignored him and huddled close to each other, waiting for the journey to be over.

Finally they arrived at the showgrounds and began driving towards the parking area.

Pendelton was thrilled by all the bright colours, strange noises and new smells.

Suddenly he saw the most wonderful things of all. They looked like ...Flying Machines!

Pendelton saw a huge wheel that reached from the ground, all the way up into the sky. It turned around and around, but it didn't go forward. People sat in seats attached to the wheel and Pendelton heard happy laughter as it turned.
He saw people enter cars that began to whirl and spin, swoop up and down and loop around. The faster the cars spun and the higher they looped, the louder the people screeched with delight.

He looked up and saw a line of chairs attached to a thick cable.

People were sitting in the chairs dangling their feet, pointing and calling as they moved slowly over the showgrounds.

Pendelton thought it was all like a magical, wonderful dream, and yet he was certainly wide awake.

Then he saw what he was looking for - BALLOONS!



Pendelton spied a stall that sold very large, brightly coloured, helium-filled balloons.

The balloons seemed to stretch up to the sky, tugging at their strings, struggling to be free to float above the crowd.

Pendelton knew just how they felt.

The truck stopped at last, and the farmer put Pendelton, Clarissa, and Clarence into one pen, then led Bathsheba to another one, further along.

"Be good little piglets now," Bathsheba warned. "Good luck in your competitions!"

Clarissa went straight to the clean straw in the corner to snooze, while Clarence headed toward the trough to eat, but Pendelton wanted to see as much of the showgrounds as he could.

He stood by the pen's gate and pushed his snout through the narrow opening. He looked all about, trying to see the balloon stall and more of the flying things.

In his excitement Pendelton pushed too hard, and the gate eased open a little bit. So naturally, he tried pushing a little harder. Sure enough, the gate could be pushed open just far enough for a chubby little piglet to squeeze through.

Suddenly, Pendelton was free!

Clarence called out, "Pendelton! Where are you going? You'll get lost! Come back!"

Clarissa called, "Pendelton, you'll miss your competition, come back!" Their squeals caught the farmer's attention and he rushed over to the pen to see if his piglets were all OK. The farmer quickly noticed the opening in the gate, and saw that one piglet was missing.

The farmer glanced around and saw Pendelton trotting toward the balloon stall. Once the farmer raised the alarm, the other farmers quickly tried to help him.

Everyone began shouting and chasing Pendelton. Although they were only trying to catch him to bring him back to the safety of his pen, Pendelton became frightened.

When he saw all the farmers running towards him, the chubby little pig gave a terrified squeal and took off running.

He barreled past the cake stall, upsetting the ladies, he galloped through the apple-pie stall, upsetting the pie trays, and skidded into the balloon stall, upsetting himself and a pile of boxes that had been filled with extra balloons and balls of string.

There lay chubby little Pendelton, flat on his back amidst a rainbow coloured heap of string and balloons, feet waving wildly in the air.

Pendelton began kicking his legs, trying to turn himself right side up, but all he managed to do was get tangled up in something.

The 'something' turned out to be the long strings of the helium-filled balloons. The balloon man had kept the helium filled balloons from floating away, by placing their strings under a heavy brick.

Pendelton's kicking and thrashing about while trying to up-end himself, tore the balloon strings from beneath the weight. Instead of getting himself back on his feet, his twisting and turning simply managed to tangle and tighten the balloon strings all around him.


Before anyone realized what was happening, the balloons started to rise, taking the chubby little piglet up with them.

Pendelton stopped kicking and his eyes grew big as saucers. He realized he was being lifted off the ground by the big bunch of large, brightly coloured, helium-filled balloons.

Up, up, up he rose, higher than the whirling, spinning, looping machine, higher than the chairs moving over the showgrounds, higher than the big turning wheel.

"Hooray!" shouted Pendelton happily, "I'm FLYING!"

He looked down and saw all the people below him running and yelling. They looked so small from up here. As Pendelton floated out of the showgrounds he saw the farmer running for his pick-up truck.

Pendelton thought flying was great fun when he drifted over the town. Busses stopped and people got out to look up and point at him.

When he sailed over the countryside he realized he was alone, and Pendelton began to get a little nervous.


When he passed over the farm and saw his empty pig pen, he became a little bit frightened.

"I think I want to get down now," he thought.

But Pendelton realized he didn't know how to get down. Then he became really frightened.

"I Want To Get Down! I Want To Go Home! HEEEELP!" he squealed.

The colorful balloons and loud squealing attracted three curious birds. They glided through the air and circled around Pendelton. It all seemed very strange to them.

"You're an odd looking bird," cooed one bird. "Where are your wings?" it inquired.

"Perhaps he's a bug," peeped another bird.

A third bird flew around the balloons, "Pretty thing, isn't he? Quite colourful for a bird. Or bug. Or whatever." she chirped.

"Thank you, but I'm not a bird or a bug" replied Pendelton. "I'm a piglet, and it's the balloons that are colourful, not me."

"And the reason I don't have wings, is because pigs aren't supposed to fly," sighed Pendelton, and with that, the chubby little piglet began to cry.

"Oh, please," he asked the birds,"I want to be back down on the ground. Can you help me? he sobbed.

The three birds fluttered around the pig and the balloons until they came up with a way to help Pendelton make a soft landing. With their sharp little beaks, the birds began to pop the balloons - slowly, one by one.

As the big bunch of balloons grew smaller, they no longer kept floating upwards.

Pendelton's weight made the rest of the balloons start to sink lower and lower. He drifted closer to the ground and was finally starting to feel a little bit safer, when all of a sudden the balloons sailed beneath the leaves of a big tree, and the strings became tangled in its branches.

Poor little Pendelton. There he was, dangling from the end of a tree limb, swaying in the breeze, still several feet off the ground.

Before Pendelton could get frightened all over again, the farmer arrived in his pick-up truck and parked right underneath Pendelton. Quickly scrambling up on the truck bed, the farmer reached up and plucked little Pendelton from the tree. Gently the farmer tucked the frightened little piglet into a warm sack, sat him on the front seat of the truck, and drove him back home to the pigpen.

Pendelton was so glad to be home. Oh how good the trough, the mud and the straw looked to Pendelton, especially from down here on the ground!

Within moments, the chubby little piglet was happily nestled in a clean bed of straw, sound sleep.

But the little pig who wanted to fly, finally had.

Been there. Done that.

The Pig Who Wanted To Fly - Story By Judith McGrath - Copyright 1999
The Pig Who Wanted To Fly - Illustrations and Animations By Dennis Cox - Copyright 1999

About the Author: Judith McGrath of Kalamunda, Western Australia. Judy is a free-lance journalist and reviewer on the visual arts in Australia. Her children have left the nest but her grandchildren fly in and out. She has found they, like good artists, inspire her to view the ordinary from a different perspective and gain a new appreciation for the world. Some of her stories attempt to tap into that perspective while others are just her way of saying 'Thank You'. Write to Judy at  

About the Illustrator: The talented Dennis Cox of West Jordan, Utah spends much of his day on the computer illustrating . He tells us he has a wife of 24 years, a recently married daughter and a teenage son (2/3 of which have forced all the hair to leave the top of his head). He also shares his house with 4 dogs and 2 cats (don't ask......). Occasional fishing trips account for most of his recreational time. He has been doodling since about the age of eight. In 1988 he found out what a computer could do for graphics, and has been strictly digital since. He specializes in caricatures and illustrations but sometimes dabbles in animation and portraits.

Use the Illustrator Portfolio to review a clickable list of Artwork samples displayed by Dennis Cox at Bedtime-Story.

CLICK HERE to select from sequential image portfolios displayed on these and other tales:

Dad Didn't Get It
The Pig Who Wanted To Fly

The Inventor * also displayed as a color illustrated Bedtime-Story E-Book, published in Illumination. User-friendly download, no separate software required to read it. See this!


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