Straw, Sticks and Brick

Written by Kevin Broccoli


First and foremost, I just need to assert what was right and what was wrong. I think, before you can apologise for things you’ve done, you need to really isolate and evaluate exactly what you did wrong, and it’s very rare that you, uh, you know, haven’t done anything right in the midst of all you did wrong. So, I would like to assert that, yes, I made mistakes. I made many mistakes. I hurt people. Well, not people, but, you know, living things. I hurt living things and I hurt them by damaging their property and terrorising them, and for that, I am very sorry, and I stand here, humbly, in front of you today, with my tail between my legs--literally--to say that I do apologise for the wrong I’ve done. Not for the right I’ve done, obviously, because I don’t need to apologise for what I’ve done right, and I have done some things right, but I don’t need to apologise for those things. Just the wrong things.


Uh, but, uh, yeah, the, yeah, the, um--


The straw.


I apologise for the straw. Why you would build a house out of straw in the first place is a mystery to me, but--That’s not my, uh--That’s not the point. The point is, one of you wanted to build a house of straw, and I destroyed that house. I blew it down. Not that it takes much to blow down something made out of straw. A strong wind could have blown it down. A gust. A breeze. You built the house fairly close to the ocean, so I expect there would have been a lot of sea wind coming off the coast, and that leads me to think your house wasn’t long for this world anyway, but sure, yes, I was the one who blew it down, and I have to own that, and so I do. I own it. I own it and I apologise for it. I blew down the house and I was going to eat you, but you ran away. I don’t think I should have to apologise for wanting to eat you, because that’s, you know, my nature, but I get how my nature and your existence don’t jive, and I believe we should all be able to live together peacefully in this world, but I would like to remind you that eating, you know, kale, isn’t really an option for me, and, uh, you know, attempted murder isn’t murder. It’s different. That’s why they have a different sentence for it when you get convicted of it in court. When you do get convicted. Which isn’t often, because it’s so hard to prove. I mean, it’s almost impossible to prove someone’s intent, but, sure, I did attempt something, and for that, I am sorry, because that’s wrong and so is blowing down a flimsy house that was going to come down at any moment anyway because somebody didn’t want to take the time to build their home properly with decent materials.


So. I’m sorry for all that.


Umm...


In regards to the sticks, I would like to say that I maintain sticks are only slightly harder to blow down than straw, but there was, yes, an intent there, to blow the house down. And to eat the owner of the house. And to maybe use the sticks to start a fire that I would then roast the owner of the house over while lathering said owner in barbecue sauce. Yes, all of that is true, and none of it is right, and I apologise for all of it. I will say that because I couldn’t catch the owner of the house, nothing happened other than destruction of a fire hazard, but nevertheless, there was destruction. There was trauma. There was hurt. And I have to understand that and make space for it moving forward. That I brought about and manifested hurt in the lives of swine. A fire could have hurt many more people. Not a nice fire that you can control while you cook your dinner, but a real fire that could start at any moment if some pig decided to light a candle in the middle of his twig dwelling, but it’s not about what might have happened, it’s about what did happen, and what happened was I blew the house down. I huffed. I puffed. I got a little winded. I huffed and puffed some more. Down went the house. I own that. I didn’t eat the pig because he ran away, because somehow pigs are terrible at building houses, but they are fantastic at running away from wolves, so that’s fine, he ran, I chased. And, uh, then…


Then I hit a wall.


A brick wall.


We all have to hit that brick wall, don’t we? Finally found a house I couldn’t blow down. But you know what I could blow down?


Myself.


And that’s what I did.


I stood there and with all the breath in my furry body, I blew, and blew, and blew. But I could not blow that house down. And as I sat there, on the grass, the dew still fresh from morning, knowing that breakfast, lunch, and dinner was staring out a window from a brick house, mocking me, taunting me, and jeering at me, I knew I needed to take a good, hard look at my life and make some changes.


That’s why I’m here today--not at the end of my journey towards being a better creature, but somewhere in the middle. I’m asking for forgiveness. For the straw. For the sticks. Not for the brick, because that house was built well and I believe it got sold the following year for double what it cost to erect, and so, good on that pig, because he must have gotten the architecture gene his siblings didn’t. Me, I’m just going around to different wolf packs, talking to the pups about making good decisions.


Mostly I just tell them to stick to chickens.


You tell them the sky is falling, and the next thing you know, they’re walking right into your cave. No houses you need to gather up your breath support for and no riddles like with goats or grandmothers that give you indigestion. Just good, old-fashioned deception.


So you see, I’ve learned.


I’ve come a long, long way.

The End... of all those materials.