Once upon a time in a land not so far away there was a girl named Žaneta, who was known to her friends as Goldilocks, on account of her beautiful long hair that was as yellow as a buttercup.
One sunny day, Goldilocks awoke to a snorty squeaky noise coming from under her window. She was used to funny occurrences, and she wondered if the day would lead to an adventure.
Goldilocks was no stranger to adventures, like the time when she stumbled across an old cottage and found three bowls of porridge. This in itself was not so unusual, but the cottage belonged to a family of bears which was decidedly outré, especially in modern-day Merseyside.
Anyway, Goldilocks lifted her sash window and looked down to see three little pigs.
‘Ooh! three little pigs’ thought Goldilocks.
She ran downstairs where her Mum was making breakfast.
“Mum, there’s three little pigs outside. Can I keep them!”
“No, of course not!” said Žaneta’s Mum. “You need to take them to market, and get for them what you can.”
“Get your breakfast and then get down to the market.”
“Not another word.”
Goldilocks ate her breakfast in silence and then went outside to see the little pigs, which were oinking and squeaking. They were so cute.
‘I had better do what my Mum says,’ thought Goldilocks and got three lengths of rope, which she made into three leads for the pigs.
As she was walking to market, she bumped into her friend, Jack, who was on his way home and looked very pleased with himself.
“Hello, Jack. What’s to do? You look very happy.”
“Hi Goldilocks, My Mum decided to sell one of her herd. I was meant to take it to market, but instead, I bumped into this guy, who gave me some magic beans in exchange for the cow.”
Goldilocks looked a little askance at Jack.
“Magic in what way?”
“Oh… Ummm… I don’t know,” said Jack, scratching his head.
“Didn’t you bother to ask?”
“Hmmm… I think your Mum is going to be very cross with you.”
“Oh crikey! Really?”
“Well, it all sounds a bit fishy to me,” admitted Goldilocks.
“Flip! You might be right.”
“Anyway! Wait a minute, what are you doing in my story?” protested Goldilocks.
“What do you mean?” asked Jack.
“Well, not to be self-centered, but this is all about me, not you and your silly beans!”
“Whoa! Not so much with the silly! I’m a well-respected fictional character.”
“Well, anyway, I’ve got to get to market with these three little piggies,” said Goldilocks.
“Ah they’re cute,” said Jack,” patting one of the pigs on the head.
“I know. But my Mum wants me to sell them.”
“Well, I guess what you lose, the butcher gains,” said Jack, philosophically.
“Eh? Butcher?!!” exclaimed Goldilocks, with horror.
“Yes, well where do you think pork comes from?!”
“I don’t know; I’m a vegetarian.”
“Well, trust me they’re for the chop!”
“Bum! What shall I do?”
"I don't know, sorry. Anyway, I can’t stay chatting all day,” said Jack. "I better get home and face the music."
Žaneta said cheerio to her friend and continued with her pigs, wondering what she could do to save their bacon. As it had been quite a hike, she felt a little weary and decided to pop into Starbucks. She tethered her porcine chums to the lamp post and entered the coffee shop. There was a slightly foppish guy behind the counter, with ‘Trainee Barista’ printed on his T-shirt.
“A cappuccino, please.”
“Certainly, madam. What’s your name?”
“Yes,” said the guy.”
“Sorry, why do you need my name?”
“I’ve got to write it on the side of the cup.”
“Hmmm… what’s the point of that?”
“I don’t know. It’s just what we do.”
“Can’t I just have my cappuccino?” said Goldilocks in frustration.
“Well, I do have to write your name…”
Goldilocks just saw this as pointless bureaucracy but acceded to his request.
“Okay, well It’s Žaneta.”
The guy began to write her name in a rather thick-tipped marker pen.
J – A – N
“Hang on…hang on!”
“Sorry, is there a problem?” asked the barista.
“You don’t spell it like that.”
“Oh. How do you spell it then?” he asked, looking at the queue that was forming behind his blonde customer.
“The first letter is a zed but with a háček.
“It’s like a letter U, but shallower, it modifies the pronunciation.”
There were the beginnings of disquiet in the queue behind Goldilocks and people were moaning about the slow service.
“Oh… can you write it.”
“For pity’s sake!”
Goldilocks took the cup and pen, writing her name on the side. The guy proceeded to make her drink, amid the increasing hubbub behind.
“Would you like chocolate sprinkles?”
“Ooh yes please.”
The guy began to sprinkle the powdered cocoa when Goldilocks interrupted.
“Excuse me, can you do it in a figure eight?”
“Look, are you taking the piss?”
Goldilocks was incensed.
“I beg your pardon?!”
The queue for coffee and the exorbitantly priced pieces of cake was now reaching the street, where some customers were kept amused by the three little pigs.
“Why a figure eight?” asked the guy.
“Let me see. The same reason you want my name on the side of your stupid cup!!! No reason at all.”
Goldilocks smashed a pile of change on the counter and took her drink in a huff.
After quenching her thirst, Goldilocks continued on her way to market. She began to develop a plan for saving her pigs when the local bobby turned the corner.
“Hello, PC Plod,” said Goldilocks.
“Hello, Goldilocks. Where are you going?”
“To market. My Mum has sent me."
The policeman looked at the three pigs, shaking his head.
“I assume you have the necessary paperwork?” said the policeman.
“I’m afraid you need a Swine Movement Order to transport these animals.”
“Yes, it’s European regulations. Out of my hands.”
Žaneta was faced with a dilemma. She embraced the European ideal, membership of a single market and the notion of a shared currency. She had been dismayed when the referendum had gone the other way, and couldn’t understand how so many people had voted to leave the EU in the absence of any real information on which to base such a momentous decision.
However, this particular piece of legislation that forbade the movement of pigs without the aforementioned documentation seemed particularly nugatory. Never the less, it might be just the get out of jail card that she needed to save the day.
“I don’t. Sorry," said Goldilocks.
“Well, I’m afraid they will need to be impounded.”
“Yes, there’s an animal farm down the road, where the children go, who are otherwise oblivious to bucolic wildlife.”
Goldilocks looked down at one of the little pigs, which had a particularly curly tail and which she had taken a shine to.
“Maybe I can keep that one?” suggested Goldilocks.
“Well, I’m not sure,” said the Constable.
“Surely the legislation only refers to livestock. If it were a pet, it would be exempt?”
“Oh… I don’t know. This is highly irregular.”
“By the way,” said Goldilocks. “My Gran is making your favourite apple strudel at the weekend.”
“Yes, not that I’m suggesting that you over-looking my piglet is in any way connected to that, or anything.”
“Ahem… of course not. Has it got extra cinnamon?”
“Yes, and extra baked, so it’s all caramelised round the edges.”
“Ooh, splendid. Well, I suppose, if it’s a pet.”
“Thank you, PC Plod!”
She took the money for two of the pigs and walked home with a spring in her step. Just when she was in sight of her gate, she took the lead from her little pig and allowed it to follow her home.
“So, did you sell the pigs at market?” asked her Mum.
“Yes, and here’s the money.”
“Well done, Žaneta. I… hang on, what’s that then, pointing to the pig, which was snuffling at the doorstep.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Goldilocks. It must be a… Homing pig,” she added, blushing.
“That’s not even a thing!” Her Mum exclaimed.
“Oh but he’s so cute. Can I keep him, Mum, can I?!”
“Well, I suppose so. But you’ll have to clean up after him and everything.”
“I will; I will.”
Goldilocks was so happy to have a new little friend, and they lived happily from that day to this.