Swineherd with his flock
And here is the text to read along:
(the sound of running pigs, getting closer)
a galloping porcine mob.
The ground begins to throb.
(Brakes screeching. a through-other of pigs. “Are we there yet?” “At last!” “Shoosh!”)
To market down This-Little-Piggy Cul-de-Sac.
‘Oh, I hate this job and want my old one back,’
thought the man in charge of this grunting pack,
for in his chosen profession …
(The pigs: “An-onymously!” “No, world-famously!” “Shoosh!”
the swineherd was a musician.
And his dance band consisted of
his dog (proud barking)
an assemblage of hog (proud grunting)
and bluebottles too, all agog. (proud loud buzzing)
(A slap and an ‘Ouch!’ and the buzzing stops)
But these were the only ones who knew
that the herdsman was a genius too.
No wonder, for hogging the show
in the finest tourist-trap traditions
– as always, as all of us know –
were those renowned … (pause) … four brutes.
… they are still
in verse …
Every afternoon at four o’clock
each future sausage raised a trotter and a hock
to jive and jitterbug and do the cakewalk.
And the dog raised his snuffer
to the old duffer –
um, sorry, the herder,
who boldly blew on his horn.
(a horn sounds)
(The piglets: Da capo! Da capo!)
(Horn signal/horn music/dance)
And so the sows danced;
together and alone they pranced
around the legs of their hound.
And though they are all long since wurst,
they are still dancing here in verse.
But wait, good people.
(The music falls silent.)
To forget the herdsman would not be right,
since he – post mortem – is still in the limelight.
Translation: Ian Watson