UKArchive ID: 13003Pigs and Monkeys by thegeeza
Originally published on August 8, 2005 in Fiction    

"It is the nature of living creatures to turn against those that they consider different."

1,797 words.

The monkeys were restless in their trees. Some were quiet, fidgeting; some were obviously agitated and jumped from branch to branch screaming. They all looked towards the kingdom of the pigs and watched the black smoke streaming into the darkening sky.

‘You know, Mogie, things have changed,’ said Ballus.

‘Yes,’ said Mogie, stroking the wisps of hair on his chin. ‘Something had to change.’

‘Why so?’ said his father, quickly. ‘Do you think this is a good thing?’


‘The taking of lives is never a good thing,’ said Ballus.

‘No, it is not.’ They sat for a moment, Mogie looking at the column of smoke, Ballus looking at his son. Something troubled Ballus, but he did not know what it was.

‘What about taking the lives of innocent monkeys, Father?’

Ballus looked at his son and considered. ‘The taking of any life is wrong.’

‘So when the pigs murder monkeys, how should we react?’

Ballus searched for a way he could answer the question.

‘We must react, Father. We cannot not react. This is logical behaviour.’

‘We must all live together in this world. We cannot spiral into violence and death. This cannot be the way. This cannot ever lead to a peaceful existence for any animal.’

‘So we sit and suffer in silence?’

‘We must work with the pigs to make a better world. We must work out our differences peacefully.’

‘But we cannot do that whilst pigs kill monkeys, can we?’ said Mogie, turning at last to regard his father’s furrowed brow.

The pigs screamed and ran in circles. The smell of burning flesh stuck fast in their snouts. Wherever they ran, they found carnage and destruction. There was no clear path to take. Old pigs, young pigs, piglets, sows, monkeys, horses, bears and cows burned and died. Their homes and places of work were consumed with fire and crashed to the ground. The incredible heat made it impossible to reach the afflicted to try to save them. There was no escape. It was hell on earth.

When the fires were put out, the pigs ventured into the middle of their city and were horrified by what they saw. Many thousands of animals of all descriptions lay burned beyond recognition. It was impossible to tell a pig from a cow or a monkey from a bear. All that remained was the smoking flesh of animals and the debris of the wooden buildings. The smell was unbearable. The silence broken only by trotters breaking pieces of charcoal.

The politicians and their pig army generals gathered around a large oak table deep underground away from the city. Some were shaken to silence, some were gripped by fury and thoughts of revenge. The Leader called the table to order but had to stop to comfort the Domestic Minister who had started to sob.

General Prime sneered at her and told The Leader that the meeting should start so they could activate their response.

‘Response?’ said The Leader. ‘How can we respond to something like this?’

‘With force,’ said General Prime. ‘With strength. Our armies outnumber them twenty to one. We can eliminate them from this earth.’

‘That will not bring back the dead,’ said The Leader.

‘But we should make sure this does not happen again!’ He slammed his trotter on the table.

‘And how? How can we hit back at an enemy that hides in the trees, hides amongst our buildings, lives amongst us and cannot be seen?’

‘We should send our armies into the trees to destroy all the monkeys that we find. Burn down the trees until we drive them into the sea where they will all drown.’

‘And the trees? The trees that give us wood, that give us shelter from the wind, that give us oxygen to breathe?’

‘We will plant them again. Some will survive. We need to destroy the monkeys, their homes and all they believe in.’

‘And what of the monkeys that live in our city? The monkeys that have survived? What will you do with them? These animals live with us, make us diverse, give us strength.’

‘Destroy them. We cannot take any chances.’

‘And what of the horses and the cows? What shall we do with them?’

General Prime shook his head. ‘We need to act now, Sir. They may be planning another attack. We need to hit back and hit back hard.’

Ballus came back to his home and looked at his wife, son and daughter as they ate their evening meal.

‘They say that the pig king is dead. They say he was in the city and burned with his people.’

The family stopped eating and looked at him. The Leader had ruled over the world for many years and appeared to be invincible. He had created misery and reigned death down upon the monkey population for a long time. The monkeys had been restricted to tree dwellings and their access to the city was limited and difficult to obtain. The money and opportunity had always been kept in the city and away from the monkeys that lived outside its borders. The kingdoms of the cows, horses and bears had suffered too, but much less so than the monkeys who suffered the worst of the discrimination. The killing of The Leader would change everything.

‘That’s great!’ said Mogie.

‘Oh, you think so, do you?’ said Ballus.

‘Yes! I do. These animals have plundered us and murdered our people for many years. There is a long way to go, but this is the starting place. An opportunity for our kind to rule the land! The rightful heirs to the world!’ He stopped and looked at his mother and sister and their frightened faces. His father looked very stern. Mogie composed himself.

‘You think we should rule this land?’ said his father.

‘Our ways are better.’

‘Why do you say that?’

‘We can get out of the trees and build large structures to live in that show our power. No longer can the pigs flaunt their wealth in front of us, taunt us and mock us.’

A loud knocking came at the door of their tree-house. Ballus looked at his son, then turned to greet the visitor. It was Mogie’s friend, Jamson.

‘Mogie! Come quick! The pig king is dead and we are celebrating!’ The sound of shouts and excitement echoed around the forest behind him.

Mogie jumped up, his chair scraping across the floor. ‘I know, I heard!’

‘Son, do not leave, I command you as your father. We have much to speak about and do.’

‘Do?’ said Mogie. ‘Do what? Father, the pig king is slain and it is time to celebrate. I think you have forgotten what it is like to see and feel hope!’

‘The pigs will not allow this to happen without exacting a terrible revenge. We must run and hide to save our family.’

‘Run? Hide? Now? Father, you are truly blind. The celestial Gods that watch over us have finally turned the tide in our favour and now you want to run and to hide? Father, I am going.’

‘Mogie, please don’t go, I beg you,’ said his mother.

‘Mother, sister, I want to rejoice in our new freedom.’

He left, shrugging his shoulders and smiling to his friend as they went down to the forest floor. He commented about the older generation and the exciting times that lay ahead. Jamson laughed and told of his own family’s frightened reaction.

‘I think when animals have suffered so much, they take comfort from their tormentors. It becomes normal. In time the older generation will see that we are right. The younger animals will always adapt fastest and know the way of the world much better than those that live in the past.’

The monkeys tried to get away but they were surprised by the pigs who came at them from all sides wielding powerful weapons. There was no place to hide as every tree was burned to the ground along with any animal who lived there. Ballus’ home was incinerated without a second thought by a pig soldier who had lost his entire family in the burning city. Anything that moved was destroyed.

Ballus, his wife and daughter made it to the sea as the sky turned black behind them. The sound of explosions and falling trees deafened and terrified the fleeing monkeys as they approached the tranquil ocean. The crowds of shrieking monkeys made a large target for the pig’s weapons and most were slaughtered before they saw the blood-spattered faces of any pigs.

The pig soldiers held Ballus’ eyes open as they raped and murdered his wife and daughter. When they were spent, the pigs tore Ballus’ heart out and threw him and all the other monkeys into the sea.

The bears and horses formed an alliance and dragged General Prime and his war council from their bunker. All but a few lucky pigs were killed. Those that survived served their new masters, the cows, who had made the bears and horses kill one another by making them believe the other plotted against them.

The cows relaxed and became complacent on the huge expanse of pastureland laid flat by those animals that had perished before.

One day man came to the island where they found a lush and pleasant place to live. The fattened cows were startled and taken as a food source. Man bred them for this sole purpose. They discovered that the trees that had been buried for a long time had turned to oil deep underground. This substance became very important to them. They mechanised the landscape and it changed beyond all recognition. Men killed other men for control of oil. Some men believed in the Sun God, and some believed in the Moon God. Followers of one would kill followers of the other if they would not convert.

‘I notice,’ said the Sun God, ‘that some men are prepared to understand the viewpoint of other men. They feel compassion.’

‘Yes,’ said the Moon God. ‘In each cycle, more constituents are found in the middle where understanding and peace prevail.’

‘There are still many who cannot and will not move from the edges.’

The blue-skinned Moon God reached his hand to a chess piece and moved it. ‘It is the nature of living creatures to turn against those that they consider different. Each type is frightened of its opposite and so wishes to destroy them. This is destructive because they can never be the same. If they did not evolve and change, they would never become more than single-cell creatures. Nature competes against itself to survive.’

The red-skinned Sun God rubbed his fingers through his white beard and nodded, without looking up from the chess board.


(c) Steve Smith.

© thegeeza (thegeeza on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 13003
Archived comments for Pigs and Monkeys
RoyBateman on 2005-08-08 12:16:54
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Ooh, deep stuff - "Animal Farm" meets - well, all sorts of ideas! Great read, and you certainly achieved your aim of making people think.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-08-08 14:10:37
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Thanks, Roy ... glad you liked it.

Author's Reply:

KDR on 2005-08-08 15:00:32
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
What can I say?

Congrats on the nib - even though you'll probably say it doesn't mean much. 😉


Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-08-08 16:41:57
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Course it does!
Cheers, Karl.

Author's Reply:

Flash on 2005-08-08 23:59:00
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
I award this a 'GrandFlashNobber,' for beinga unique and a thoroughly stunning read.

Don't show off now they'll all want one.


Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-08-09 09:08:08
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
I ...erm ... humbly accept your GrandFlashNobber.
Thanks, mate.

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2005-08-09 10:32:09
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
One word. Brilliant.
More words. Good story, excellently told with the moral bit interwoven rather than made the whole point.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-08-09 13:17:48
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Thanks, Chrissy - glad you liked it.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-08-10 21:29:10
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Ain't this different to your other pieces.

An excellent read full of meaning.

Congrats on that nib. ;^)

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-08-11 00:14:53
Re: Pigs and Monkeys
Thanks, Claire. I shall stab it into my lapel and wear it with pride!

Author's Reply: