George was a pig. A very greedy pig.
George was always hungry. He never joined in with the games the other pigs played, because he was always on the lookout for something tasty to eat.
"Oh, George, you greedy pig!" The others would cry. "Why don't you come and roll in the mud with us? Or play in the pig pen?" But George would simply lie in his bed and snooze until it was time for his next meal. And even whilst he snoozed, he dreamt of food.
One evening, George had just finished a delicious meal of corn, apples and oatmeal. For pudding, he'd eaten the scraps all the other pigs had left in their troughs for good measure!
George gave a contented sigh and flopped down onto his bed. He was just nicely full up - his favourite feeling! He yawned a sleepy "goodnight" to the other pigs and settled down to sleep.
He hadn't been sleeping for long, when George heard an unusual sound. He opened one eye and looked around. All the other pigs were fast asleep. Dark shadows loomed all around then pig pen and the moon cast a white glow over the farmyard. Everything looked just the same as it always did. George shook his head and went back to sleep. Before long, he was awoken again, by another strange sound. This time, louder than the last.
"Did you hear that?" He asked his friend, Daryl. Daryl grunted and rolled over. The sound came again, this time even louder. Daryl opened his eyes and nodded at George. George glanced around the farmyard and, to his horror, he saw a shadowy creature, heading for the hen house.
"It's a fox!" Daryl yelped, waking up the other sleeping pigs. "What are we going to do?"
George rattled the bars of the pig pen with his trotters, pushing all of his considerable weight against them. "Hey, you!" He cried to the fox. "Come and pick on someone your own size!"
The fox slunk over to the pig pen and narrowed his eyes at George. "Look what you've done, you silly pig," he hissed. "You've woken up all the chickens!"
"You were going to eat them!" George exclaimed.
The fox's tummy rumbled. "I'm hungry," he insisted. "You can hardly blame me for wanting a late-night snack!"
George frowned. "You're not as hungry as I am," he told the fox. "And I can prove it."
The fox sat back and chuckled to himself. "You have a farmer to feed you," he explained. "I have to fend for myself. There's no way you're as hungry as I am."
George smirked. "That sounds like a challenge," he said. "How about we make a deal? If I can prove that I'm hungrier than you, then you have to promise to leave the chickens alone."
The fox laughed out loud. "DEAL!"
By now, all the other pigs were awake and were watching what was going on. They whispered to one another, excited to see what was about to happen.
"Around the back of the farmhouse, there is a big wheelie bin," George explained. "It's full of scraps of food that the farmer and his family throw away. If you can push the bin back here, we'll fill two troughs with food. The first of us to eat it all will be the winner!"
Again, the fox laughed, certain that he'd win. He raced away and returned, several minutes later, puffing and panting as he pushed the bin towards the pig pen. "I've worked up quite an appetite," he warned George. "I'm definitely going to win!" He stood on his hind legs and pushed open the lid of the bin with his paws. Slowly, he tossed food down to the pigs below, who hurried to fill two troughs, so that the competition could begin.
At last, the troughs were full. "First one to empty their trough wins, remember?" George told the fox. "And if I win, you leave our chickens alone!"
The race began. George stuck his snout into the trough and began to devour stale bread, apple cores and vegetable peelings. Beside him, the fox hungrily snapped up pizza slices, baked beans and leftover meat from the family's Sunday roast.
As the race went on, George's tummy began to feel full. He'd eaten so much at dinner that he wasn't sure he had room for any more. He watched the fox, greedily munching his way through the food and he began to worry that he was going to lose! With a deep intake of breath, George carried on stuffing food into his mouth, until there were only a few morsels left in the trough. He turned to the
fox. They were neck and neck, with just a few scraps left in his trough, too! But George could see that the fox was struggling. He'd been hungry for so long, that his stomach had gotten full much faster than George's.
The fox sat back, shaking his head. "I can't finish it," he panted.
George managed a smile. "Neither can I," he confessed. "I think maybe both of us were being a bit too greedy..."
The fox rubbed his swollen belly with a paw and sighed. "I'm too full to eat the chickens now," he admitted. "You win."
"George!" Daryl the pig squeaked. "You saved the day!" The pigs all cheered as George sank down onto his bed, groaning.
"You saved the chickens," the fox nodded. "To be honest, I think I like this food better, anyway. Although I won't be needing to eat again for a while..."
"Me neither," George moaned. "I feel a bit sick!"
"Can I come back and eat this stuff again, when I feel better?" The fox asked.
"You're welcome to it," George said, managing a smile. "First thing in the morning, I'm going on a diet!"
Everybody laughed, as the fox slunk away into the shadows. George closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. And for once, he didn't dream of food...