Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys

by Howard R. Garis

Chapter 28: “Pinky and the Lemon”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1918
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Garis, H. R. (1918). Curly and Floppy Twistytail, the Funny Piggie Boys. New York, NY: A. L. Burt Co.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 5.2
  • Word Count: 1,357


One day, when Flop Ear and Curly Tail were at school, Mrs. Twistytail, the pig lady, said to Baby Pinky, her little girl:

“Pinky, I am going to run across the street for a minute to ask Mrs. Wibblewobble to lend me a spool of thread. It is so chilly out that I don’t want to take you along. So will you be afraid to stay here alone, just a little while?”

“No, indeed, mamma,” spoke Pinky. “Why, what is there to be afraid of?” she asked with a laugh.

“Nothing in the least,” replied her mother, “but sometimes little girls, and boys, too, for that matter, are afraid to stay alone, even when their mamma wants to go get a drink of water.”

“Oh! I hope I’m not that kind, mamma,” spoke Pinky.

“Then I’ll just run across the street for a minute,” went on Mrs. Twistytail. “Everything is all right here. There is nothing on the stove to boil over, but be careful not to go near the fire.”

“No, I’ll stay right here, mamma,” said Pinky. “I’ll look out of the window, and watch the leaves dancing up and down in the breeze.”

So Mrs. Twistytail went over to Mrs. Wibblewobble, the duck lady’s house, and Pinky sat down to wait for her to come back. But you know how it is sometimes, when ladies get talking together, they have so many things to say, about how to make the loaf of bread last longer, and how high the butter is—so high that they have to get on a step ladder to reach it—and how boys wear out their shoes and trousers so fast and the newest way to fix your hair, and what to do when your best dress gets all spotted with ice cream, and how scarce coal is, and what a long winter we’re going to have—all things like that ladies find to talk about, and it was that way with Mrs. Twistytail and Mrs. Wibblewobble.

Well, do you know, the first thing Mrs. Twistytail knew she had forgotten all about what she came after—let’s see now, what was it —I declare I’ve forgotten myself. Just excuse me while I look back and see. Oh! I remember, it was a spool of thread.

Yes, Mrs. Twistytail got so interested talking to the duck lady about a new way to make a tight dress loose that she forgot all about the spool of thread.

“Well, mamma is staying quite a long time,” said Baby Pinky after a bit, as she sat by the window. “I hope nothing has happened to her.” She looked, but she could not see her mamma coming back, and then Pinky said:

“I guess I’ll just dust off the piano, to keep busy, and it won’t seem so long until mamma comes home.”

So she began knocking the dust off the piano to the floor just as Jennie Chipmunk did it with her tail brush, and Pinky made so much noise that she did not hear the door open and some one come in. That is she did not until she heard some one walking in the room behind her, and then the little piggie girl turned around and exclaimed:

“Oh, mamma! How you frightened me.”

But, oh my! when she saw who was in the room, poor Pinky was frightened more than ever. For there, with his face all swollen, stood a bad old baboon who had escaped from the monkey circus down the street.

“Bur-r-f! Ah ha! Wow! Now I have you!” barked the baboon, for they make a noise something like a dog with the chicken-pox.

“Why, why, what is the matter?” asked Pinky, never dreaming that there would be trouble, for she was such a gentle little thing. “Why is your face all swelled up?” she asked.

“I have the mumps,” explained the baboon, who had a blue nose. “I have the mumps, and I am hungry. Little pigs are good for the mumps, I have been told. I guess I’ll take you.”

“Oh! I’m sure you must be mistaken,” said Pinky, politely. “Surely you are wrong. I am not good for mumps, and I’m sure they’re not good for me.”

“Nor me, either,” cried the baboon, putting his paw to his swollen jaw. “I don’t want ‘em but I have to have ‘em, and, as you are the only thing that’s good for them, I’m going to take you away with me. No, on second thought, I’ll eat you up here and now.”

“Oh, please don’t!” cried Baby Pinky, and she wished, Oh! how she did wish her mamma would come back. “How did you get in here?” she asked.

“I just waited until I saw Mrs. Twistytail go out,” said the blue-nosed baboon, “and then I knew you were here alone. So in I came, here I am, and now this is the end of you!”

“Oh, please don’t hurt me!” cried Baby Pinky, but that savage baboon, rubbing his blue nose with the end of his tail—for he had a red tail—that baboon, I say, made a jump for Pinky.

“Oh!” she cried, as she leaped out of the way. “I’ll get you something to eat, and then you won’t have to take me,” and out into the kitchen she ran, with the mumpy baboon after her. All Pinky saw on the table was a lemon, and, thinking the baboon might like lemonade, she caught hold of it, cut it open with a knife, and then—

Well, that baboon made a jump for her, and, as he did so, Pinky accidentally squeezed the lemon. Now, as everybody knows, when you have the mumps, if a person even says “pickles,” or “vinegar,” or “lemons” to you, it makes your throat all pucker up and pain you like anything, and you can’t even seem to swallow. Mumps and sour things don’t seem to go together.

And when the sour lemon juice got in the baboon’s mouth and eyes, and some trickled down on his mumpy throat. Oh, wow! if you will excuse me saying so.

“Bur-r-! Scumpf! Fuffphmn, Xzvbgetyriep! Bfrewcript! Xvbnhytrwewqauitopekgsteredse!” cried that baboon, and no one could understand what he said, not even a phonograph, for you see his mouth and throat were nearly closed up by the puckery lemon.

And of course he couldn’t eat Pinky, for he could not even swallow some slippery elm, which as everybody knows, is the slipperiest thing there is.

“B-r-r-r!” cried the baboon again.

“Zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba!” and he said the alphabet backward. Then, holding his mumpy jaws in both paws and winding his red tail around his blue nose, out of the house he ran, leaving the little piggie girl safe. And her mamma saw the baboon running away, and, without even stopping for the spool of thread, she came home and felt very badly that Pinky had been frightened.

“But you were very brave to hand the mumpy baboon a lemon,” she said, and I think so, too, for it was just the right thing.

And next, in case the fire shovel doesn’t burn a hole in the tablecloth and let the sugar run out and catch cold, I’ll tell you about the piggies and Santa Claus.