During this semester at Stateville, we read different short stories from the collection Tales and Stories for Black Folks edited by Toni Cade Bambara. Within this collection are a variety of rewrites of “classic” fairytales and folktales as well as new interpretations of common African folklore. Students were then asked to rewrite their own tale. We asked questions such as: How would you change the story to tell your own message? What characters would have to change, be omitted, or be added? Who is this story for?
One student, Abdul-Malik Muhammad, rewrote “The Three Little Pigs” as his second story rewrite. The APTP ensemble read his piece and performed their favorite lines using a variety of exercises. Read Malik’s story below and see the video of the APTP ensemble making theater from his work.
Three Little Pigs
by Free “Malik” (Wrongfully Convicted Torture Survivor)
Once upon a time there was Three Little Pigs that lived in this small farm town.
They name was Ku, Klux and Klan! Ku, Klux and Klan had admiration to become the Town Police. So they went around town looking for any suspicious activities. One day they notice a Big Black wild boar and assumed he might be up to something.
The first day they watch the wild boar sharpen his tusk against the big oak tree. They observed there was no one else around but it didn’t stop the wild boar from sharpening his tusk. So the three brothers just watch him from a safe distance.
The very next day they saw the same Big Black wild boar sharpen his tusk against the mighty oak tree bark. They looked around but no one else was in sight so they decided to watch him all day. And all day the wild boar continue to sharpen his tusk.
On the third day, they (the 3 brothers) Ku, Klux and Klan began to round up all the other farm animals in town. Door by door, knock by knock and questions after questions, the 3 brothers interrogated each farm animal concerning why the wild boar was always sharpening his tusk. No one ever thought to ask or question why because the Big Black wild boar was honest, sincere and very caring.
But that didn’t stop the 3 brothers from investigating the wild boar’s suspicious activities. Someone mentioned that the wild boar’s girlfriend was Sweet Chicken on Hen Avenue. So the 3 brothers took Sweet Chicken to the Big House – known as the house of “howls” (where the captain alway huffing and puffing in everyone’s faces).
They place her against the wall, make Sweet Chicken spread her hands and legs apart, and they clutch on their knives and forks. Ready to take a piece out of Sweet Chicken if she make a sudden move. Suddenly the wild boar appeared, tusk sharp, he told Ku, Klux and Klan- “Whatever you do to Sweet Chicken, I’m going to do to you.”
Ku, Klux and Klan couldn’t believe how firm he spoke to them. They asked in unison, “Tell us why you always sharpen your tusk against that oak tree?”
The boar replied, “It’s simple, every wild boar learn from birth to keep your tusk sharp at all times.”
“But why?,” asked the 3 brothers. The wild boar looked at Sweet Chicken and said, “In the time of peace, always prepare for war.” Ku, Klux and Klan swirl their heads and decide to let Sweet Chicken go.
Ku said, “I don’t like that guy.”
Klux said, “Me either.”
Klan said, “Boy that Black Boar is really smart.”
They all agreed that someday they have to lock-up all Black Boars.