The wolf crept across the lawn until he reached the first workshop.
Inside, Wilma placidly clicked her needles over the left front of a cabled cardigan.
The wolf licked his lips and tapped on the front door.
“Not now,” said Wilma. “I’m counting.”
“Little pig!” shouted the wolf, “Little pig! Let me come in!”
“I’m still counting,” said Wilma.
“Open the door, pig,” shouted the wolf, “or I’ll blow your house in!”
“We are not at home to Mister Pushy,” said Wilma.
The wolf opened his jaws and let fly a terrifying gale of fetid air. As Wilma’s ceiling began to fall, she grabbed her knitting bag and fled through the back door to Bertram’s workshop.
The wolf was disappointed to find nothing edible in the ruins except a box of chocolate truffles and a spilled pot of Earl Grey tea.
“Never mind,” he thought. “I feel sure the pickings will be richer next door.”
At Bertram’s, Wilma had found her brother finishing an enormous circular lace tablecloth and the fifth season of Midsomer Murders.
“Bertram,” she said, “we have got a wolf on the lawn trying to break in and eat us. We must remain calm and send him packing. We must not panic, Bertram.”
“I have never yet had a panic in my life,” said Bertram. “And I do not intend to begin now. Have you got your needles with you, Wilma?”
“I have,” said Wilma.
“And I have my hooks,” said Bertram. “We shall be fine and dandy.”
Just then, the wolf pounded on Bertram’s front door and shouted, “Little pigs! Little pigs! Let me come in!”
“Open studios on Saturdays only,” said Bertram firmly. “Go away.”
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!” bellowed the wolf.
Bertram and Wilma had anticipated this. By the time Bertram’s magnificent crocheted studio walls collapsed in a sparkly heap, the pigs had already sought refuge with Hamish.
The wolf was annoyed to find nothing much to eat in Bertram’s workroom, aside from a partial bag of mini-doughnuts and a bottle of orange soda. He was ravenous. He was furious.
The three pigs convened underneath the largest of Hamish’s sixteen looms.
“He’s very likely going to blow the place down,” said Hamish. “That much we know. The question is, how do we stop him from eating us? We must plan. Happily, I have my project notebook and calculation worksheets.”
“I’m not sure we have time to make notes, Hamish,” said Wilma.
Indeed, the wolf was already pounding on the door.
“Little pigs! Little pigs!” he bellowed. “Let me–”
“BUGGER OFF!” shouted the three little pigs.
“Rude!” shouted the wolf.
“Hamish,” said Bertram, “what’s the strongest yarn you have to hand?”
“Forty cones of carpet warp,” said Hamish.
“You don’t weave carpets,” said Wilma.
“I might try it someday,” said Hamish. “And they were on sale.”
“Fair enough,” said Wilma.
“I say we grab a cone,” said Bertram, “and make this smug beast something special.”
“Bespoke,” said Wilma.
“Quite,” said Hamish.
The wolf, meanwhile, was pacing up and down the lawn wondering at the sheer lunacy of the situation. They were pigs. He was a wolf. He was there to eat, they were there to be eaten. Why resist the inevitable? Why defend themselves with flimsy bits of knitting?
Or was it bits of crochet? He never could tell the difference.
It was ridiculous anyhow, little pigs making things. Pigs were food. Encouraging them to be anything else was a waste of time. It gave them funny ideas.
He looked up at Hamish’s beautifully woven workshop. He drooled.
The wolf charged across the lawn, a fresh gust of wind at the ready. The front door opened–and out spilled the pigs, screaming and brandishing cones of yarn.
Wilma made the first volley, pitching her cone over to Bertram. The wolf smirked as it sailed passed his head, trailing a strand of cotton.
“You’re going to save yourselves…with string?”
Bertram yelled, “Catch, Hamish!” and tossed the cone past the wolf, narrowly missing his left ear. Hamish caught the cone and threw it over the wolf’s shoulder to Wilma. Round and round the pigs passed the yarn, over and under and through.
“Pathetic,” thought the wolf. “I believe it’s time to end this sad little display.”
Then he realized to his great discomfort that the trails of yarn from the flying cone had begun to form a web, with himself caught in the middle. He raised his claws to scratch away the encroaching fibers, but found they could scarcely move. He opened his mouth to bellow, and Wilma stuffed her knitting bag into it.
“That will be quite enough,” she said, “out of you.”
The pigs pulled the yarn web tight and the wolf toppled to the ground in a neatly wrapped bundle. Hamish and Wilma sat on him; while Bertram slung his speediest hook to create, in short order, a neat crocheted receptacle of just the right size. The pigs slipped it over the wolf’s recumbent form and pulled the drawstring tight.
“Don’t you look cozy?” said Bertram.
“Umph!” said the wolf.
“A little tight in the shoulders,” said Hamish, “but otherwise quite a good fit.”
“What shall we do with him now?” said Wilma. “I don’t like him as a garden ornament, and he’s useless for anything else.”
In the end, they decided to take him to the post office and mail him to the remotest island anyone could think of, postage due.
The island refused the delivery, of course; but what became of the wolf after that is anybody’s guess. If anybody cared to guess, which they did not.
The pigs, meanwhile, went merrily back to work.
And they never forgot, as indeed we never should, that while one strand of yarn may be easily broken, many little strands working together are more than a match for even the nastiest beast.
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book (Soho Publishing, 2016) and It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. His publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Ply Magazine, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and Knitty.com.
He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, Stitches Events, Squam Arts Workshops, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.
Visit him at www.franklinhabit.com