Once upon a time, there were three little pigs, named Peter, Patty and Penny, who left their mommy and daddy to see the world.

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All summer long, they roamed through the woods and fields, playing games and having fun. None were happier than the three little pigs, and they easily made friends with everyone they met.

Wherever they went, they were given a warm welcome and never had to worry about where they would sleep. But as summer drew to a close, they realized that people were starting to prepare their homes for winter. The three little pigs decided that they too needed a home of their own to keep them safe and warm through the winter.

Peter, the first little pig, was the oldest of the three. He decided to build a straw hut. "It'll only take a day! Then I'll go have fun and play," he sang enthusiastically.

The others disagreed.

"It's too fragile," they said disapprovingly, but Peter refused to listen (after all, he WAS the oldest by 3 whole minutes).

Patty Pig was the second little pig (born 3 minutes after Peter and 4 seconds before Penny). She decided that a house of straw would be too cold during the winter (and that bugs might get in!) So she went off in search of twigs and wood to build her house.

"Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!" It took her two days to nail her house of wood together. Patty finished, looked at her house and thought, "well..., it's a little wobbly and maybe it isn't my VERY best job... But it's supposed to be warm this winter so it should do."

Penny quietly voiced her opinion that the house didn't look sturdy enough to stand up to wind, rain, snow (or bugs). Peter teased that Patty had wasted a whole day searching for wood when she could have been having fun playing with him. Patty turned and sang out, "It only took an extra day. Now I can go have fun and play."

Penny Pig was the youngest of the three and being the youngest loved to play at least as much as Peter and Patty did. But she remembered what her mommy and daddy had taught her growing up.

Her daddy always told her, "we don't expect you to be perfect Penny."

And her mommy always added, "we'll always be proud of you as long as you've done your very best job."

So Penny Pig sighed and thought, "it will take time, patience and hard work to build a safe, warm, comfortable house. I've never done it before and I'm a little nervous, but I'm going to do my very best job!"

Penny went to the library and took out some books about building houses. She spent two whole days reading the books before she decided that a house of bricks would be the best choice.

Penny spent another whole day collecting supplies. A day to lay the foundation. Another to pour the cement. Yet another to stack the bricks and four more to put on the roof and paint. Just to make sure that she'd tried her best, she decided to take a few more days to build some cozy wooden furniture to put in her house of bricks. By the time she was done her house, two weeks had passed and the leaves outside had taken on their autumn colours.

Penny looked at her little house with pride. Sure, the chimney was a little crooked and the paint had dripped a bit here and there, but Penny knew that she'd done her very best job and was quite proud of what she'd accomplished.

Peter, Patty and Penny spent the next day playing. The two older pigs teased Penny that she'd wasted the whole fall building her house (and Peter couldn't resist pointing out that even after all that work, Penny hadn't even managed to get the chimney on straight!) But Penny was happy with the choices she'd made as she sat in front of her cozy fireplace that night.

Peter wasn't nearly as comfortable in his house of straw. The cold night air crept in quickly. Peter hadn't taken the time to build a bed so huddled in the corner on a mound of leftover straw. As the sun rose the next morning, Peter was starting to wish that he'd spent a bit more time on his house. As he pondered what he was going to use to cook breakfast with, Peter heard a knock on the door.

"Who's there?" Peter asked... It was awfully early for visitors.

Peter hadn't been the only one wondering about breakfast. A big, bad, hungry wolf had wandered through the forest. He hadn't eaten for awhile and a nice young piggy was just the kind of breakfast he was craving!

"Come out!" ordered the wolf, his mouth watering. "I want to speak to you!"

Peter may have been a bit lazy, but he certainly wasn't dumb. "I'd rather stay where I am," he replied.

"Come out now!" yelled the wolf fiercely.

"Not by the hair on my chin-y chin chin," teased Peter (after all, what could the wolf do about it).

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll bloooooow your house in!" threatened the wolf who blew with all his might, right onto the house. All the straw that Peter had heaped against some thin poles fell down in the great blast.

Peter dashed as fast as he could to his sister Patty's house. Patty had heard the commotion. She ran to the door, accidentally squishing a beetle that was sitting by her bed. She bravely brushed the two spiders that had built webs inside the doorframe out of her way and pulled the door open for her brother.

The wolf ran after Peter and shouted "Come out and play with me!" just as the door slammed in his face.

"Not by the hair on our chin-y chin chins," replied Patty (almost as upset about all the bugs she had begun to notice scurrying around her floor as she was about the wolf).

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll bloooooow your house in!" yelled the wolf who blew with all his might, right onto the house. The wooden house creaked and squeaked and then collapsed like a pack of cards.

Peter and Patty dashed out and were halfway to Penny's house before the last twig had hit the ground. Penny urged them in, took one last look at the crooked chimney, crossed her fingers and slammed the door.

"Come out here, now! I want my breakfast," growled the wolf, not bothering to pretend anymore.

"Not by the hair on our chin-y chin chins," replied Peter, Patty and Penny (her fingers still crossed tightly).

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll bloooooow your house in!" yelled the wolf who blew with all his might, right onto the house.

Nothing happened.

The wolf drew an even deeper breath and blew again. And again! But Penny Pig's house of bricks with the crooked chimney and drippy paint was her very best job and it would NOT fall down no matter how hard the wolf blew.

After all his huffing and puffing the wolf was even hungrier than he'd been to begin with and he was not about to give up. He climbed carefully up a nearby ladder and scrambled onto the roof. Before Peter, Patty and Penny knew what was happening, the wolf started to slide down the chimney!

"Yikes!" cried Peter.

"We're toast!" sobbed Patty.

"Bacon, actually!" wailed Penny.

But slowly the three little pigs realized that the wolf had somehow gotten stuck before he had made it all the way down. Understanding what had happened, Penny started to giggle nervously. "I think he got caught in the crooked part of my chimney!"

Peter nodded with disbelief, jumped up and threw some wood onto the fireplace. Patty grabbed the matches and started a fire which was soon roaring. It didn't take long for the three little pigs to hear the anguished howl of the wolf as he scrambled back up the chimney. The flames licked his hairy coat and his tail became a flaming torch.

"Never again! Never again will I go down a chimney!" he squealed, as he tried to put out the flames in his tail. Then he ran away as fast as he could.

That very same day, Peter and Patty took out library books on how to build a brick house. Penny did her best to give them some instruction and Peter showed his sisters how to put on paint without it getting drippy (after all, he WAS the oldest by 3 whole minutes).

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The wolf did return once to roam in the neighbourhood, but when he caught sight of THREE crooked chimneys, he remembered the terrible pain of a burnt tail and he left for good.

Now safe and happy, Penny sang out to her brother and sister, "No more working for today... Come on let's go out to play!"