Sassy Pants forgot to do something very important. She had been so busy trying to find something valuable to contribute to the farm, it had slipped out of her mind. She didn't know how valuable it was. Or, even if it was valuable, at all. She only knew she had to do what was right...and she had to do it, right now! Chapter One Walking the Fence
Sassy Pants was practicing. Ever since her good friend Winchester (a bulldog with only three legs) had taught her to march around the fence line on patrol every day, she started doing it all by herself. And ever since that night when she squealed so loud everybody on the whole farm woke up (because she saw a dangerous creature slip into the barnyard through a hole in the fence), she wanted to help keep everyone safe. Of course, she was only half-grown—not big enough, yet, to do much about it— but she could at least alert somebody bigger to take care of it. Most of the time, she walked the fence line on her patrol because it was fun. She liked to see if anything had changed since the last time she was there, and look for tasty roots or squirrel nuts she could dig up that she hadn't found before. Most of all, she was trying to be a more valuable pig. That's what Sassy Pants wanted more than anything. Because it seemed every animal on Farmer White's farm had something valuable to contribute except her. That's why she was practicing to do hard things. Like walking the fence all by herself, looking for new holes or weak spots in places that the Boss Hog was too big to look into. That's what she was doing on this day before she heard a loud BOINNNNG!!! and knew just what it was. In a hurry, she raced to a part of the fence where she knew there was a loose spot. There in a ditch where rain had washed the dirt away from the bottom, stood three of this years' new piggies who were too little to be in the pig pasture, or go squeezing through holes in the pigpen. “What are you piggies up to?” Sassy Pants asked as if she didn’t know. Surprised that they were caught in the act, the three little pigs stood wide-eyed but said nothing. “Wouldn’t be thinking about escaping, now, would we?” They shook their heads—no—that was not what they were doing. Sassy Pants remembered how tempting it was to squeeze through holes in the fence when she was little, and really couldn't blame them too much. “Okay, then. Just a word to the wise—you see that small wire there on the bottom?” All three looked and then shook their head, yes, they saw it. “Do you know what that is?” Heads shook, no. “That’s an electric fence wire. Do not touch it. It might look like it’s just little, but it can turn into something big real quick! See my tail?” She turned a bit to the side so they could get a good look. “It used to have a curl, just like yours. And the hairs on the end used to be as sandy colored as the rest of me.” The piggies came closer for a better look and the middle one finally spoke up. “It's her!” He whispered to the others, “It's Sassy Pants! The pig Miss Merino said had to learn the hard way. The one she tells stories about!” “Yep,” Sassy Pants agreed. “I had to learn the hard way not to touch that wire. When I was just about your size, too. Back then I wanted to get out more than anything. I felt penned in and held back. So, I pushed on it with my snout and—electricity went all through me—and right out my tail!” “ Wow!” The piggy on the right shook his head like he could hardly imagine. “It blew out your tail?” “It blew the curl right out of it and burnt the end black.” “That had to hurt!” The piggy on the left sounded sorry for Sassy Pants. “It hurt so much I saw stars and sparkles. I couldn’t even walk straight for a while. It changed the way I thought about being in the pigpen, too. So, I would not touch it if I were you.” Then she gave a short, sudden snort and they all scampered back through the hole where they belonged, careful to hop over the wire the rain had uncovered as they passed. When they were gone, she pushed fresh dirt over the wire with her strong snout (made especially for digging) and covered it up, again. Tonight, she would show it to one of Farmer White's children, who still came out to play with her, now and again, or scratch her back with a stick until she felt good all over. The way they used to when she lived up in the big house. Sassy Pants missed living there sometimes but she was way too big to be taken care of, now, and felt more at home outside. Especially since she had grown up enough to be let out into the big pig pasture, every day, to dig for tasty roots, nuts, and berries that grew wild along the fence line. No, she did not miss the big house so much anymore. Seeing the piggies had made her remember how naughty she had been, last year, when she was their size. She did not think very much about it, though, because she was not that way, now. She had better things to do than get in trouble. It was never as fun as she thought it would be, and a lot harder to get out of than getting into. It took a long time to get out of all that trouble she caused. She had made amends (that's more than saying sorry) with almost everyone she had hurt or been mean to. Almost to the Boss Hog, himself (but not quite). That's when it suddenly came to Sassy Pants that she had forgotten to make any amends to someone she had been the naughtiest of all. Someone whose feelings she hurt many times, who had not said one bad thing back to her in return. A very special somebody that she couldn't wait another moment to find. So, she took off at a run—lickety-split—hoping it wasn't too late.