Big Enough For Flying


Every year the prize-winning hog just gets bigger. At last year’s State Fair, he weighed over 1900 pounds. It is always the same hog, Junior. Lying next to him is Queenie, younger and a few hundred pounds smaller. Waiting in the wings, you might say, since one day Junior will die and it will be Queenie’s turn.

I squeeze Michael’s little hand.

“Am I big enough for flying yet, daddy?”

“Not yet, son. Next year, probably.”

It wasn’t a promise, exactly. Maybe I could figure a way to get him out next summer. Maybe his mother would allow that, at least.


Friday Fictoneers


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  1. paulmclem

    Didn’t get it till I read your comment. My main crit would be the opening paragraph feels detached from the rest of the story. You tell us all about these hogs and then move onto something else. Just feels to me that you’ve invested so much in the opening para, that you should have continued with the elements you introduced i.e. the hogs. What follows feels like another story.

    • J Hardy Carroll

      It’s subtle. They’re at the fair. It’s been the same hog every time. The next time they are there together it might be the next hog. This story is meant to suggest rather than explain. There is a particular heartbreak in anticipation.

  2. Amy Reese

    I hope it won’t be their last trip to the fair. I think your opening nicely sets up the idea of change and things moving forward as they will, with or without our consent. There are things out of our control. Like this ride!

  3. gahlearner

    Children are always the ones who stand in-between and suffer. I like the progression of change. The fair will always be there, it appears, but will father and son?

  4. ansumani

    The story was sad. The man was thinking abiut the hog and what will happen next year – indirectly – with his son.. On the irst read the transition from the hog to child felt abrupt but it was a good subtle shift showing how the father’s thought went before being interrupted by the son.

Don't just stand there.