Until the age of six, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I eloquently replied, “A pig.” Remember the movie Babe? Some pig he was. Just a pink, nascent character who stopped the fall of the ax. I wanted my faint squeals to stop the world, too. I wanted to come out of the dark crevices of my room and live in my thin skin with the other beasts in my family. Where could I hide when my brother punched a hole in the wall? The world wasn’t big enough for him. But it was too big for me. Pigs grow and grow if they eat more. I thought the world could seem smaller if I looked down at ungulate hooves and a portly belly. Why not grow out instead of up? You could call me a dreamer, I guess. Later, I read Animal Farm. Somehow, Babe and Napoleon inhabited the same meaty flesh. Then the world seemed too small.
Molly Ruddell lives in Philadelphia. She’s previously published in Apiary magazine and has a few other not-quite-as-short pieces coming out in Page and Spine and Gravel.