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There was a green pig in Chester's back yard. It was not a bright green like a lime popsicle, nor was it very dark like the inside of a forest. It was somewhere in between the two, although the actual shade is not important. The fact is, it was quite the wrong color for a pig, and besides, an animal such as that had no reason to be in Chester's yard at five thirty on a summer Saturday morning.
At first, the boy only heard it in his dream. Chomp! Scrunch! Snort! Those sorts of sounds reached him as the green pig chewed. It was enough to make Chester snap out of his sleep. He stared at the gray light of early morning for a moment.
He slid out of bed, rubbed his eyes, and drifted to the window. He pulled a chord that raised the blind. There it was. A little green pig was pulling young bedding plants out of the ground near the swimming pool. "Wow," breathed Chester. There is a green pig in our yard, he thought. Not just any pig, but a tiny green one no bigger than a newborn baby person.
The green pig stopped eating. Had it heard the boy's tiny gasp of amazement? It looked towards the window and gave a nod. Was that a smile on its face? Could a pig smile?
The green pig trotted onto the lawn. It stopped and gave Chester another little nod, then it continued and disappeared from view.
"Rats! I mean pigs!" blurted Chester a little too loudly. He glanced guiltily towards his ceiling where his parents were sleeping above. There was no sound. He almost jumped out of his pajamas and into his blue shorts. He tugged on the white T-shirt he had worn the day before and stepped into his sandals. Then, heshuffled across the floor like an old lady, and as quietly as possible, he slid open the bedroom door.
Zoë, his little black poodle was waiting for him. She jumped up, pawed at his leg and panted.
"Shhh! No Zo-Zo, you can't come," Chester hissed. "Lay down and go back to sleep."
He shuffled across the hallway to the back door. He unlocked it, and making sure that Zoë couldn't follow, he slid out onto the wooden deck. Some tall gingers still hid his view of the rest of the lawn. He crouched, buckled up his sandals and hurried down three steps to where he could see the whole yard.
The green pig was, with some difficulty, squeezing under the back gate. "No, don't go!" Chester whispered. This time the creature neither stopped nor turned.
Chester hurried to the gate. The green pig was waddling down the driveway. I shouldn't be going out there without permission, Chester was thinking, especially at this time of day. Perhaps I'll go and wake Mum and Dad. What if I went and grabbed Mum's digital camera and took a quick photo?
Chester did neither of those things. He did not intend to lose sight of his green pig.
"Come along! Come along!" said a voice.
Chester almost fell over. He swished round. There was nobody to be seen. The green pig was now crossing the road. In a second or two it would be in amongst the oak trees in the middle of their tiny cul-de-sac.
Chester opened the gate. It squeaked, but there didn't seem to be anyone around to hear. He jogged down the driveway, crossed the road, and stepped between low bushes onto the island. From the other side he saw that his green pig was now strutting across the corner of Mrs. Monkievitz's front lawn and heading towards Indian Trail Drive.
"Stop, can't you?" he begged as he followed. The pig scurried across the road on tiny green legs. It turned right. A sign planted in a grass-covered avenue read "Warning--Petroleum Pipeline".
The green pig was quite well camouflaged among the grass as it trotted onwards. Chester rested against the warning sign, and all he could see was a green blob looking like a fish swimming upstream through a river.