September 11, 2011

The Brick House, By Natalie Silver

Bio: Natalie writes, "I'm Natalie Silver and I go to the NYC Lab School. I like traveling, amusement parks, and beaches. I have two younger sisters and I live in Manhattan."

The house took forever to build. I saw my brothers lounging out in front of their houses, and it was hard for me to keep going. I thought, “what motivation do I have? There are no hurricanes in this town, and very few rainstorms. What could knock over a house, even of straw?” I kept working, knowing that it is the wisest to expect the worst. I figured, with all this global warming, who knew what the weather would bring this year?

My mother always said, “George, you have the most common sense of all of your brothers. Look out for them. Make sure they are doing what is right.”

I went over to each of their houses three times, warning them to work harder on their buildings. I knew they had some money in the bank, so it’s not like they had to buy straw and sticks just because they were on sale! They never listened to what I said. They were lucky that they had gotten so far in life with their chronic laziness. I knew that my mother’s warning would reign true, and they would end up being hurt in the end. But how many times could I nag them to do something before they actually listened? It was a waste of my time to continue to try to convince two pigs in their own world.

I figured that I needed to start thinking about me. My selflessness consistently proved to be my biggest weakness. Building a brick house was much harder than it seemed online. The bricks were heavy, and I grew tired quickly. It was such a beautiful day out. 65 degrees in the coldest February ever! My terrible brothers laid outside tanning. They snickered as they saw me toil away, working on that house. I was already halfway done, and I refused to quit. I knew in the bottom of my heart that my hard work would pay off. My mother did not push me to work hard for no reason. She knew how it is in the real world, and I didn’t want my first real house to look like a pigsty!

*2 Months Later*

Everyone in the neighborhood was terrified of this mass murderer on the loose only known as “Wolf”. He was very sneaky, and knew how to break into houses with ease. Because of this, I installed a home security system and checked all the doors and windows in my house. My terrible brothers were making fun of me, calling me a paranoid loser, and a momma’s pig. I didn’t care, I would rather be safe than sorry.

I was in the middle of my favorite show, Two and a Half Pigs, and an emergency broadcast came on. A newspig stated with much concern that Wolf was loose in New Pork. The police outlined the area which Wolf was expected to be in on a map. My jaw dropped in horror when I saw that Wolf was suspected to be on my block. I shut all the windows, made sure my security system was working, and dashed to the phone. I first called my youngest brother down the block in his straw house.

My brother said, “Hello?” and then the phone dropped. I could hear a deep voice screaming, “Let me in! Let me in!” a loud crash, and then silence. I was scared to death for my next brother. I called him immediately.

I pleaded for my older brother to come to my house. He laughed it off, thinking I was making a prank call to him. He told me that our younger brother was fine, and that the sticks his house was made of are the strongest sticks he could find. Mid-sentence, I heard a large crash in his house, and then silence. I frantically paced around my house, looking for anything that could protect me. All I could find was a baseball bat. I stood at the front of my house, about to call my mother when I heard a knock on the door.

“LET ME IN!” screamed Wolf. I could tell it was Wolf because of how his voice made me shiver, and cold to the bone.

“The police are coming soon!” I screamed back, fighting to seem like I was fearless, even though my knees were shaking and my teeth chattering.

“Have it your way, I’ll blow this house down!” Wolf said. I figured that blow was some kind of street term, but I wasn’t sure what exactly he meant. I just knew I was in great danger.

It took him a long time to try to bust open the door. I remember feeling so relieved that my house was made of brick, even though there was a murderer on my doorstep. Just as I could see the door about to break, I heard sirens. I have never heard such beautiful sirens in my life. Red and blue lights flashed everywhere, and the look I saw on Wolf’s face when he realized he was caught is forever engraved in my mind.

Illustration by Leslie Brooke.


Anonymous said...

As I read this modernized version of the Three Little Pigs, I couldn’t help but to think of this quote; “Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure” by Robert Half. It was the two pig’s laziness that caused their houses to be destroyed by the wolf. It was also their stubbornness that kept them from listening to their brother who was only trying to help them. This is also a good story to show that hard work pays off and to teach young children to listen to their elders. Kudos to George, the brother with the most common sense. This story teaches a lesson, yet it is also entertaining at the same time. I found the ‘Two and a Half Pigs’ reference a clever and humorous comic break. The brother who outsmarted the wolf showed wisdom and resilience in making his home sturdy, which resulted in him surviving the big bad wolf’s plan to destroy his house. Lauren D.

Timothy B. said...

I enjoyed your modern retelling of this fairy tale complete with phones and televisions but still retaining the classic elements of the story. The use of modern themes throughout the story like the police and the reference to global warming were well done and enhanced the story. The use of puns like “New Pork” and “Two and a half pigs” were cheesy but I felt like in fit in really well with the silly nature of the three little pigs story. While I am not familiar with any one version of this story I commend you for your variations in this specific version of the story. For example the use of the pig’s mother was a nice little touch that established a back story for George. But the thing I liked the most was the use of the wolf. You never specify as to whether it’s actually a wolf or not. For me this added a layer of mystery to Wolf’s character. Is he a dastardly wolf that blows the houses down or is he just a regular (pig) criminal that wreaks havoc through other means? These subtle changes add to the fun and made it an enjoyable story for me to read.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this story a lot. It kept all the elements that we all know about the Three Little Pigs and just added a lot of modern technology and issues that are current in the world right now which I thought was great and made the story even better than it was. The comment of Two and A Half Pigs made me chuckle. I thought that was funny. I also love the moral of the story. It is something that my parents have taught me to follow all throughout my life in order for me to be successful and that is to work hard. Hard work pays off in the long run as to someone who is lazy and does not want to do anything at all. Everyone should follow the way the hard working pig lives his life as compared to the other pigs and listen to their parents or anyone adult that you know and respect because they have been down the same journey as we are on right now and no that laziness kills and a hard working person is very successful in the end. This was a great read. T.R.