The cat wound around Gary's ankles as he washed the dishes and put them
in the drain to dry. He frowned as he looked down at the feline and gently
nudged it away with his toe.
"One of these days I'm gonna step on you. Don't you know better than to be under foot all the time?"
"That's what I figured," Gary mumbled as he folded the dish towel and neatly laid it on the counter. He walked over to the sofa and plopped down before picking up the remote. He placed one foot on the coffee table and crossed it with his other foot, before he punched the remote, surfing through the channels.
The cat jumped up on his lap and curled into a ball. Gary grabbed the loose skin at the cat's neck and lifted its head and looked in its eyes.
"An evening off from the paper and I get to spend it with you. Isn't that special?" Gary said sarcastically.
He jumped when he heard a knock at the door.
"Hey, Gar? You in there? Open up!"
Gary looked back at the cat. "Or better yet. Chuck."
"Oh, shut up!" he said, dropping the cat as he stood.
"Gar? You in there?" Chuck repeated, impatiently.
"Hang on a sec. I'm coming." Gary yanked the door open.
"Good. You're home," Chuck said as he breezed past Gary.
"Yeah, I'm here. What's wrong?" he wondered as he shut the door.
"Nothing's wrong. Can't I come see my friend without anything being wrong?"
Gary shrugged. "I guess so. So *why* are you here?"
"I'm bored. You wanna catch a movie?" Chuck asked,
"Sure. Why not?"
"Really? You don't have anything with the paper?"
"Nope. It's all taken care of," Gary said before he picked up the paper and looked through it once more.
"Great!! Come on, let's go," Chuck suggested as he opened the door.
"What do we want to see?" Chuck asked as he scanned the list of movies
that were showing. Gary shrugged his shoulders.
"Hey, look. Babe is about to start. Who's in that? Who cares, it's called Babe. Whoever the actress is, she's probably hot.......One adult. Babe."
"Chuck, I don't think...." Gary tried to explain as he motioned his hand toward the marquee poster for Babe.
"Oh, come on, Gar. Loosen up," Chuck chided as he took his ticket stub. "Maybe it's about Babe Ruth and you won't get embarrassed."
Gary shook his head as he purchased his ticket.
After they both bought tubs of buttered popcorn and drinks, they made their way into the theater. The previews had already started, so Chuck hurried to find a seat. He made himself comfortable and filled his mouth with popcorn as the word *Babe* appeared on the screen in gold letters. A music box tune played as pictures of pigs scrolled across the screen along with the credits.
"Animal action?" Chuck read out loud. "This Babe must like pigs. You think she'll be wearing Daisy Duke shorts, pig tails and a checkered shirt tied in the front like Maryanne from Gilligan's Island?"
Gary couldn't help but chuckle. "I don't think so, Chuck. Babe is a pig."
"You mean she's really fat?"
"SHHHH!!!" The people in front turned and whispered loudly.
"Oh, shush yourself!" Chuck replied.
"This is a tale about an unprejudiced heart and how it changed our valley forever," the narrator said.
"What the hell?!!" Chuck blurted.
Chuck turned to Gary. "This is a movie about a pig?"
"Yes, I tried to tell ya."
Chuck stood and grabbed his coat and tossed it across his arm.
"Where are you going?" Gary asked.
"To get my money back. You comin'?"
"No, I think I'll stay and watch. You can go if you want."
"I want!" Chuck said as he stomped off.
Gary figured the movie would be entertaining and that is what he was looking for. A couple of hours, free from stress.
It wasn't long before Chuck was back.
"What are you doing?" Gary wondered.
"They wouldn't give me my money back and since I'd already paid, I figured I might as well watch the stupid thing."
Gary nodded as he tried to hide the smile on his face.
Babe dashed across the field in hot pursuit of the three wild dogs who
had attacked *the boss's* sheep. When he had successfully chased them away
he returned to the circle of sheep and was dismayed to find Ma laying on
her side, bleeding.
"Ma! Ma! Are you alright?" Babe asked in a worried tone.
"Hello, youngin'," Ma uttered.
"Oh Ma! Can you get up?" Babe asked softly as he nuzzled the fallen sheep.
"I...don't....reckon," Ma gasped.
"It's over, Ma. The wolves have gone...far away. I'll, I'll get the boss up here to look after ya. You'll be alright. You'll be alright," Babe cried.
Ma laid her head on the grass and drew her last breath.
"Oh, Ma!! Ma!! Maaaaahhh, Maaaaahhhh, Maaahhhh, Maaaaaahhhhh."
Gary heard a noise beside him and turned to look at Chuck.
"Are you crying?" Gary asked.
Chuck jutted his chin out. "NO! I'm not crying. My sinuses are acting up."
"You think I'm gonna cry about some stupid, old sheep dying?" Chuck whispered harshly.
"No, no, I guess not."
~*The next morning*~
"Man, you tricked me. You promised me a pancake breakfast," Chuck whined as he and Gary walked along the lake shore.
"Well, look. Just keep your pants on. I got one more errand to run," Gary replied.
"Oh, you and your errands. Alright, just so you know, I want an apple pancake and real pork sausage. And I don't want to hear any crap about that talking pig," he warned.
"Alright. I just don't see how you can eat sausage after seeing that movie. That's all."
"How? I *hate* that stupid pig! I sat in that movie and for 93 minutes, all I could think of was sausage links and pork rinds," Chuck lied.
Now he'd done it. Now he'd have to eat sausage in front of Gary just so he could prove that little pig hadn't gotten to him.
Luckily, fate or providence or the Polar Bear Club would shine on Chuck, and Gary would never know for sure that a cute little pig named Babe had stolen Chuck's heart.
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