The Pig That Went to Market – Elementary Level

Once there was a little man named Mister Snooks who lived in a house in Tweedle village with his little fat pig, Snorter. Mister Snooks had built a nice place for Snorter to sleep in his garden. However, he was always forgetting to close the back door of his house. Snorter loved sitting by the kitchen fire, and it seemed as if the little pig spent most of his time indoors.

One day Mister Snooks opened his money box and found that it was quite empty. He didn’t know what to do. As well as being forgetful, Snooks didn’t like the idea of work. Oh dear! Why couldn’t his money have lasted just a little longer!

“Oooomph!” said Snorter the pig, walking in through the open kitchen door and sitting down happily by the fire.

“Haven’t I told you a hundred times you are not to come indoors!” shouted Mister Snooks, as he pointed for the pig to go outside. But he once more forgot to shut the door and after a few minutes Snorter quietly came in again. This time Mister Snooks didn’t notice him. He was too busy staring sadly at his empty money box.

Then an idea came into his head. “I will sell Snorter, my little fat pig!” he cried. “He will bring me quite a lot of money! Yes that is a good idea. What use is he I should like to know? All he does is to eat and sit in front of the fire. I will go and get him and take him to market this very day!”

He went to the back door and looked out.

“Snorter, Snorter, Snorter!” he called. “Come here!”

Well, of course, Snorter was already there, sitting by the fire, so he didn’t move. He just looked up.

Snooks didn’t see the pig. He kept looking out of the door and calling angrily: “Snorter! Do you hear me? Where are you? I want you! Come here, Snorter! Oh, you stupid pig, wherever have you gone?”

“Oooomph!” said Snorter, by the fire.

Snooks turned round and saw him there. “Oh, there you are,” he said, angrily. “How many times have I told you not to… Never mind, I’m going to sell you at the market today, so you won’t be coming inside and sitting by my fire for much longer!”

Snooks put on his hat, coat and scarf, and took a piece of string out of the string box. He tied it round one of the pig’s back legs and they started off together down the street.

When they came to the bus stop, Mister Snooks sat down on the seat there. It was not quite time for the bus. He tied the pig’s leg to the leg of the seat, then took out his newspaper and began to read it. When the bus came, he closed up his paper and jumped on the bus. He paid the conductor and opened his newspaper again.

“The Market! The Market!” shouted the conductor, at last. Mister Snooks once again closed up his newspaper and jumped off the bus. He walked to the market, and there met many farmers. All had cows, goats or sheep, or were talking about the weather and their fields and what they were growing.

“Good day, Mister Snooks,” said one of them. “What have you come to market for? Can I sell you a fat goose?”

“No, thanks,” said Mister Snooks. “I’ve come to sell Snorter, my little fat pig.”

“Where is he?” said the farmer. “I might buy him. I want a nice little pig like that.”

Snooks looked all round him. Snorter was nowhere to be seen. “Now where is he?” wondered Snooks. “Let me see, I had him on a string.”

“Well, you hadn’t got him with you when you came into the market,” said Mister Straw, the farmer, smiling. “You don’t mean to say you’ve come to sell your pig and have left him behind, Snooks! Ho, ho! That’s just like you!”

“Well,” said Snooks, looking most surprised. “I did start out with him, I know. I remember tying him to the leg of the bus stop seat but I don’t remember getting him into the bus. My goodness! I think I left him tied up to the seat!”

“Ho, ho!” laughed Mister Straw loudly. “That’s a good joke! Well, he won’t come to market by himself, Mister Snooks. You’d better go and get him! I’ll buy him if you bring him.”

Mister Snooks ran to a bus going to Tweedle village and jumped on it. He sat down and opened his paper again. He didn’t like to think about how foolish he had been. When he got to the place where he had first caught the bus that morning, he looked out hopefully at the bus stop. But there was no little fat pig tied to the seat! Someone had untied him and he had gone off somewhere. Mister Snooks spent a whole hour looking for him, and then went home, angry with himself.

He went indoors and took off his things. When he went outside into the back garden, he left the kitchen door open as usual. In a few minutes the little pig, who had found its own way home to his garden, quietly walked in. He sat himself down in front of the fire and began to warm himself. There was a pot of hot water hanging above the fire. When Snooks went to get it, he fell over Snorter, and hit his nose on the fireplace.

“Oh, so there you are!” he said, sitting up and staring at Snorter. “How many times have I… Oh well, never mind. I’m very pleased to see you are back! I shall take you to market tomorrow. Now, get out of my way, unless you want some hot water to fall on you!”

Snorter knew Mister Snooks’ carelessness with pots of water, and ran under the table. Mister Snooks pointed for him to go outside. He went out, but in five minutes he was back again, going “oooomph, oooomph” quietly in front of the fire.

Next day Mister Snooks again put on his hat, coat and scarf, found a new piece of string and set off with the pig walking quietly behind him.

Snorter couldn’t make up his mind what Snooks was thinking of doing. He decided that he was probably just taking him for a walk, like a dog. He quite enjoyed it, for a change.

This time they didn’t have to wait for the bus. It came along just as he got to the bus stop. In Snooks jumped, taking the surprised pig with him.

“You can’t have that pig here,” said the conductor. “The other people on the bus won’t like it.”

“Well, could I put him outside where you stand?” asked Snooks. Snorter was sitting quietly on one of the seats, looking around excitedly. “I’ll pay you a bit more if you’ll let him sit outside there, where you let people put their bags sometimes.”

“All right,” said the conductor. So Snorter was taken out by the conductor, and put in the baggage area under the steps that led up to the top of the bus. He sat there quietly beside two bags, and stuck his nose out to see what was passing.

Snooks paid for two people. Then he opened his newspaper, and read it from cover to cover. He would have gone right past the market if the conductor hadn’t shouted in his ear.

“The Market, sir, the Market!” he cried. “Didn’t you say you wanted the market. Come out then, we can’t wait here all day for you to get out!”

Mister Snooks jumped with fright to hear such shouting in his ear. He pushed his newspaper into his pocket and quickly got off the bus, nearly falling on his nose as he did so. Then, seeing Farmer Straw a long way off, he ran after him.

“Stop, stop!” shouted the conductor. “What about your pig?”

Mister Snooks didn’t even hear him, he was running so hard! He raced on, after Mister Straw.

The conductor danced with anger on his bus, and called out more loudly than ever. “Your pig, I say! You’ve left your pig, your PIG, PIG, PIG!”

But Mister Snooks was too far away to hear a word. The conductor, thinking that the pig would follow Snooks to the market, untied the string and pushed him down the steps. The pig could not understand what was happening. This was a most surprising day. He had no idea where Snooks had gone, so he stood still, lifted his head, and smelled the air. His nose told him which way was home. He started walking happily down the road, back to the garden and fireplace he knew so well.

As Snorter was setting off for home, Mister Snooks caught up Farmer Straw. “Hey, there!” he said, all out of breath and red in the face. “Farmer Straw! Stop a moment. Do you still want to buy my pig?”

The farmer stopped and turned round. He smiled when he saw Mister Snooks. “Yes,” he said. “I’ll buy your pig, Snooks. Is he nice and fat?”

“Oh, fine!” said Snooks. “As fat as can be. He’s the best pig in the world.”

“Where is he?” asked the farmer, looking about.

Snooks looked round too, and was surprised to see no pig.

“Don’t tell me you left him tied up to the bus stop seat again!” cried the farmer, with a shout of laughter. “Oh, don’t tell me that, Snooks!”

“No, I certainly did not!,” said Snooks. “I remember quite well taking him on the bus, because the conductor would not let him sit on a seat. I had to put him outside by the bags.”

“Well, where is he, then?” said Mister Straw.

“I must have left him on the bus,” said Mister Snooks, looking very blue. “Yes that’s what happened. Oh dear me, how forgetful I am!”

“Well, look, there’s the bus you came on, going back home again,” said the farmer, pointing. “Catch it and get your pig! Quick! I’ll wait here for you.”

Snooks ran to the bus and jumped on it. The conductor looked at him in surprise.

“Where’s my pig?” said Snooks. “Quick, tell me! I’m going to sell him.”

“Well, you won’t sell him today!” said the conductor. “I shouted and shouted after you when I found you had left your pig here but you didn’t take any notice. So I untied him, thinking he’d come after you. Didn’t he come?”

“No, he didn’t,” said Snooks, sadly. “Oh well, it’s no good my going after Farmer Straw now, without my pig. He’ll only laugh himself purple in the face. I’d best go home.”

Snooks went home in the bus and let himself in by the front door. He had left the back door open as usual, but he had forgotten that. He went into the kitchen to heat a pot of water above the fire and there, sitting in front of the fireplace as usual, was Snorter, the fat little pig! He had found his way home quite well and, finding the back door open, had gone in to sit by the fire.

“Oh, so you’re back again, are you!” said Snooks, pleased. “That’s good. I thought I’d lost you. Now get out of the kitchen, Snorter. Out! Out!”

Snorter ran outside with an “Oooomph! Oooomph!” But a few minutes later he was back again. As usual, Snooks had forgotten to close the kitchen door!

Now the next day Snooks took up his hat, scarf and coat, and found a new piece of string to take the pig to market. He looked at himself in the mirror and said: “Now, Snooks, don’t do anything foolish today! Remember to take the pig into the bus and remember to take him out of the bus! Then maybe you’ll get him to market and be able to sell him to Farmer Straw for a lot of money!”

Then off he went, the pig walking along happily beside him on the string. Snorter was no longer surprised at anything now. He just thought that Snooks must be quite mad, but he didn’t mind at all.

They got safely into the bus, and the conductor made the pig stand outside again.

“Please don’t let me get out of the bus without my pig this time,” said Snooks to the conductor, when he paid for himself and the pig. “I really must take him to market today.”

The conductor promised. The bus went on, and after some time the conductor shouted out “The Market, the Market! Remember your
PIG, Mister Snooks, remember your PIG!”

“All right, all right!” said Mister Snooks, going red when he saw everyone staring at him. “You needn’t keep on saying it. I’ll remember the pig all right!”

He got out of the bus and took the pig with him. Snorter jumped down and walked through the market beside Snooks, having a fine time saying “How do you do!” to all the cows, goats, sheep, geese and ducks that he passed.

Snooks looked everywhere for Mister Straw the farmer, but he couldn’t see him. Someone told him that the farmer had gone to have an early lunch in Dame Sally’s eating house, so he went there. He tied up Snorter outside, and went in to find Farmer Straw.

Snorter stood outside talking to a grey goose there and a fat goat. Both were owned by the same man, and their strings were tied together.

“My owner wants to sell me,” said the goose, and was just going to tell the pig all about her life when Mister Snooks came out of the eating house. Farmer Straw wasn’t there. He had gone back to the market, where he had made plans to sell two cows at twelve o’clock.

Mister Snooks quickly untied the nearest string and set off to find the farmer. He had not looked to see if it was the right string, and had the one that was tied to the goose and the goat. Think of that! The little pig was left behind wondering whatever in the world was happening, as the goose and the goat were taken away by Mister Snooks.

“SS-ss-ss-ss!” said the goose. But Mister Snooks took no notice. He was far too busy looking for Mister Straw.

At last he saw the farmer, who had just sold his cows for a lot of money, and was looking very pleased with himself.

“Farmer Straw!” called Mister Snooks, running up to him. “I’ve been looking for you all the morning. Will you buy my pig?”

“Certainly,” said Mister Straw, thinking of all the money he had in his pocket from selling the cows. “I want a nice fat pig like yours, Mister Snooks. Where is he?”

“I’ve got him on this string,” said Mister Snooks. “Come up, Snorter, come up! ”

The farmer stared in surprise at the goose and the goat on the string. Then he stared at Snooks.

“Do you think you really have a pig to sell me?” he asked. “Or are you quite, quite mad?”

Snooks gave Mister Straw an angry look. Then he looked round to see his pig. He nearly fell backwards in amazement when he saw not one pig, but a goose and a goat looking back at him!

“But there was a pig!” he said. “There really was! Oh dear whatever can have happened to him this time!”

Then Farmer Straw began to laugh till the tears ran down his big round nose. “Oh, Snooks! You’ve left your poor little pig somewhere and taken another farmer’s animals. How can you lose that pig so often? Anyone would think you didn’t want him!”

Snooks stared at the goose and the goat, and knew at once what he had done. Yes he had left the pig behind at the eating house. He remembered seeing the goose and the goat outside now. His pig must be there!

Off he went as fast as he could, with the goose going “ss-ss-ss-ss!” and the goat calling “baaa-baaa-baaa!” beside it. The poor animals couldn’t understand what was happening at all.

When Mister Snooks got back to the eating house there, alone and looking very sad, sat poor little Snorter the pig. He looked up in surprise when he saw them all coming.

Snooks quietly tied up the goose and goat, hoping that no one had noticed that he had taken them. But it was no use. Out of the shop came a man with an angry look on his face and a big stick!

“So it was you who took my animals, was it? ” he shouted. “Take that, and take that!”

The man hit poor Mister Snooks hard with his stick. He almost ran away without his pig, but then thought that he really couldn’t go without him again. So, as the man kept on hitting him, he quickly untied Snorter and ran off.

“My!” thought Mister Snooks. “This is the last time I am so forgetful. It doesn’t pay! It leads to no end of trouble! Oh dear! Now I must find Mister Straw.”

He hunted about for the farmer for two hours and couldn’t find him anywhere. Lots of people told him where they had just seen him. However, when Mister Snooks got there, hot and getting more and more worried that he might not catch him, he had always just gone.

But at last Snooks found him. He was just climbing up into his farm cart, ready to drive home.

“Stop, stop!” shouted Snooks, running up. “Wait a moment. Will you buy my pig? I really have got him this time!”

He went up to Mister Straw, and the farmer looked down at the pig. “Ah,” he said. “That surely is a fine pig, one of the fattest I’ve ever seen! A lovely little pig, surely!”

“How much will you give me for him?” asked Mister Snooks, excitedly.

“Nothing!” said the farmer. “You look into my cart, Snooks, and tell me what you see there.” Snooks looked and in the bottom of the cart lay a fine fat little pig! “I’ve just bought him! Sorry, Mister Snooks you’re a little late. It’s a sad thing that you kept forgetting to bring that pig of yours to market! I’d take him home and keep him if I were you!”

So away back home went poor Mister Snooks with Snorter the pig. He didn’t try to take him to market to sell him any more. No, he decided that it was too hard work to keep losing him and finding him again. So now he goes out to work and gets paid quite a lot of money.

As for Snorter the pig, you can guess where be is! Sitting warming his nose by the kitchen fire for, as you may know by now, Snooks never can remember to shut his kitchen door!