Pigli and Cleo – a story for kid(der)s and grown-ups

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INTRODUCTION

Pigli was a wolf. He was one of those few majestic wild creatures still living in the great outdoors. OK, for the sake of accuracy, he was the last one. He wasn’t excited about that. Being a wild wolf, I mean. To be honest, he couldn’t care less. The great outdoors were getting pretty small and he was getting pretty tired of sharing his space with those annoying, good-for-nothing rabbits that multiply like crazy and pretty soon will take over his den too. What a bore to chase! All of a sudden there’s 20 of them scuttling in all directions and he’s left there with his stomach stuck to his backbone. You get absolutely no respect from those little jerks, especially with a name like that.

Yep, that’s Pigli. A monument of wildness.

As for majestic…oh well. His ragged gray fur hung crooked like an oversized coat from his body, full of bald spots and yellowish chunks of last season’s hair. His ribs were poking out. He hadn’t sharpened his teeth in a while, and didn’t care to, and some of them were looking pretty shaky.

At the time this story begins, Pigli was a very disturbed wolf. He suffered from a major type of depression characterized by acute oversleeping and made worse by a pathological inclination for easy meals with long siestas. Wicked-minded people will call it laziness – which couldn’t, of course, be farther from the truth. Others might say it was a matter of intellect. That he was sophisticated and blasé. It can happen to lone creatures with too much time on their hands. But the truth is you cannot judge someone before you’ve even met them. So stay with the story.

Countless times had Pigli attempted to give himself up to a Zoo for a modest, 5-times-a-day free nourishment. But with environmentalists in full swing he’d been brought back every single time and set loose again. They decided he was “endangered species” and therefore belonged in the forest. (Oh, what magnificent logic! I wonder how they came up with that, he would groan sarcastically to himself.) They seemed to be pretty stubborn about it though, as he noticed after his ninth attempt. So they circled the forest with barbed wire to keep it pristine, came twice a year to measure his stress levels (he was bored out of his skull), never brought any food (What total lack of courtesy! I have needs!), and mostly left him to himself. All this while the idea of fleeing and joining a real Zoo never for one minute left his head. But until he could think up something smart enough to succeed, he was condemned to this wilderness stuff.

Well now, Cleo on the other hand, Cleo was one of those blabber-all-day, never-satisfied, round-looking balls of wool on four legs usually referred to as “sheep”. But no regular sheep, either, mind you. This one had fire in her blood. Since childhood, she had dreamed of adventure and overachievement. To rise above her anonymous condition. In sheep terms, that translates to: she had always dreamed of being a wolf.

With time, and after she had heard of a funny thing called Genetics, which supposedly differentiates across species like some sort of secret alchemy, she reluctantly gave up her quest to become a wolf. At least in public. She had heard of Philosopher’s Stones, but this one was the size of half a mountain, jumping through evolutionary eons like that.  So she applied to get a clone instead.

She enrolled to be a gene donor, went through the whole painstaking process, tests… examinations… experiments (performed mostly on her brain)… you know, the works. But somebody else, from the rich club, got chosen. And so came Dolly. Immortality and posterity all gone now, Cleo’s existence was hanging by a thread. The last way she could hope to save what was left of her battered self-esteem was to make a glorious exit out of her pitiful little existence.

To hunt a wolf.

Taking her own life would be too banal, too common these days. But to be the first sheep ever to hunt a wolf, to make that kind of statement …  to leave a legacy… (not to mention that she might be famous for longer than 15 minutes…) How adventurous! How free-spirited! How visionary! How grandiose!

Well, hopefully, he’d choke on her and spit her out without causing much damage….

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