An excerpt from The Boy Who Kicked Pigs

One day, it was in the summer, Robert was alone in the front room watching Postman Pat again and suddenly he was struck with the desire to kick a pig. His toes tingled and itched and his calf muscles fluttered. Robert was possessed. He opened the door and peeped around in case the dreaded Nerys was about the place. No sign of her and no sound of muttering from his mother in the kitchen. Robert nipped along to Nerys’s bedroom and fetched her pig Trevor, which she kept hidden in an antique chamber pot on top of her wardrobe. Nothing escaped Robert. He stood the pig on a wooden egg-cup, its snout towards the open window. It was a lovely warm day and conditions for kicking a pig were just perfect. Robert tucked a cushion under Trevor’s rump, retreated four paces and psyched himself up. There was a breathless hush in Vampire Close as Robert withdrew into himself in preparation for the kick of a lifetime. And then he burst into life and delivered a marvellous kick to Trevor’s arse. Again the pig flew. Out through the open window he went like an Exocet missile. A police car with its window wound down was cruising past the house at the very moment that Robert did his pig trick. The little tin creature carrying about two pounds and sixty pence in small coins in its stomach sailed through the cop car window.

Robert Caligari kicks his sister's pig    Copyright David Roberts

Robert Caligari kicks his sister’s pig    Copyright David Roberts

The driver, a PC by the name of George Weller, had just received an order from headquarters to rush to the scene of a suspected robbery; a violin was thought to have been nicked. He gunned the engine, and just as he screamed off in first gear Trevor the flying pig came in through the open window and butted PC Weller in the temple. The pig kiss blacked out the policeman’s brain, and he swerved hard right and crashed into a parked fish van, a wet-fish van with the words ‘Best Plaice Mobile Fish’ painted on the side. Chaos! Flukes flew all over the floor. A nosy woman aged about forty-six with a patch over her left eye jumped sideways to avoid the flying flukes. She dropped her shopping bag on to the pavement and out fell her bananas, seven of them, a bottle of Camp coffee essence and a very large bone, the sort of bone any dog worth his salt would die for. PC Weller staggered out of his car and approached the fishmonger to see if all was well. He was walking with both hands out in front of him because he couldn’t see very well after being kissed on the head by a flying pig. The poor fishman, whose glasses had been broken in the crash, was absolutely gutted. He was busy groping for his flukes. The constable approached at an angle, wondering how he could blame the whole little incident on the fishmonger. Dazed as he was, he did not perceive the bananas on the pavement in front of him. “Hello, hello, hello,” he cried as he drew near the fluke collector. “What’s going on . . .?” And as the fishman turned to say hello to whoever had just said hello three times to him, the haddock-footed policeman trod on the seven bananas…


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