Pig In A Blanket
Solomon Hogg pedalled his one-wheeled flapicycle towards the home of Mr and Mrs Penguin. He was happy he had only one more package to deliver for the afternoon. The spring day was turning chilly and Solly wasn’t wearing a coat. And when a rain cloud opened up and drenched him, he was even more excited by the idea of getting home and taking a warm bath.
However, when the Penguins invited him inside for a snack, he was too polite to say “no”. And after he entered the living room, Solly remembered the Penguins always kept their air-conditioning on full blast. The damp delivery pig shivered for an hour while eating a popsicle made of frozen herring.
So it wasn’t too surprising when Solly woke up the next morning...
...with all the symptoms of a cold. Solly blew his nose loudly into a handkerchief as he shuffled towards the breakfast table.
“Solly, you look terrible,” said one of his three sisters.
The other sisters agreed.
“You should go back to bed.”
“You look more green than pink.”
Solomon tried to laugh off his sisters’ concerns. But his laugh turned into a hacking cough.
“Oh, that sounds awful,” said his mum. “Tell me you’re not planning on going to work today.”
“I feel fine!” Solly insisted.
Solly’s mum looked at him doubtfully. He explained that Jenny Wren was on holiday and FlapOnTM delivery service was short-staffed. He couldn’t let them down!
“But don’t worry,” Solly said. “If I get any worse, I’ll come home early!” He gave his mum a goodbye kiss on the cheek.
When Solly reached the top floor of FlapOnTM, he said to himself, “Although I feel a bit ill, I have to try my best not to let it affect my job.”
Bounding into the room, he greeted his fellow workers through his stuffy nose.
“Morning, Branston! Hello there, Rivington!”
“You’re sounding a little snouty today,” said Branston Crowe. “Are you feeling alright?”
“Of...of...of...CHOOOO!” sneezed Solly. “I mean, ‘of course!’”
As he dabbed his nose with his handkerchief, a voice boomed from the other room.
“Solomon Hogg! Would you come into my office, please?”
It was Solly’s boss, Webster Pelican. He was also Solly’s uncle. Solly sniffled twice as he entered the office.
“I heard you sneezing. Do you have a cold?”
“Me?” asked Solly. “No, just...allergies.”
Webster raised one of his eyebrow feathers while looking Solly up and down.
“I don’t like sending anyone out on deliveries when they’re ill. Do you know why?”
Solly shook his head.
Webster put on his most serious voice. “Brain fog.”
Solly twitched his nose to hold back a sneeze. “What’s brain fog?”
“It’s when your thoughts get all fuzzy and it can happen when you’re not feeling well,” explained Webster. “It can be disastrous for a delivery bird...or, um, pig.”
Solly gulped. Webster continued.
“Lost packages, accidents – you never know what can happen when you have brain fog. We had a canary who used to work here. One day, she insisted on delivering her last package, even though it was getting dark and she had a touch of the flu. Do you know what happened?”
Solly slowly shook his head, afraid of the answer.
“She flew into a cloudbank. Three days later, she was in Norway.”
“Norway!?” Solly gawped.
Webster nodded, then added, “Brain fog.”
Solly gulped again. He realised that he also now had a sore throat.
“So if you think you might be ill,” said Webster, “I strongly encourage you to take the day off.”
Solly said he would think about it and left Webster’s office.
“Maybe I should take a sick day,” said Solly to himself.
The two blue starlings overheard him.
“We never take days off,” jeered one of the starlings. “We deliver every package no matter what.”
“I guess pigs need more rest than birds,” the other starling sneered. “Birds are better suited for this job, don’tcha think?”
The starlings flew off with their packages. Solly was more determined than ever to work through the day.
“I’ll show those starlings!” he said, gritting his teeth. He put a package into his backpack.
“Caw,” said Branston. “I see that package is for Trevor Badger. Remember, he’s a germophobe.”
“He’s afraid of germs and sends back packages that aren’t clean enough!” explained Branston. He handed Solly a face mask and a pair of gloves.
Seeing that his nephew would be going out on deliveries after all, Webster asked him to deliver three of Jenny Wren’s packages.
“This first one,” said Webster, “contains fifty mongos.”
“Antique coins from Mongolia,” Webster explained. “It gets delivered to Matt Mongoose.”
Next he handed Solly a small package of couscous. “This goes to the Monkey family. And this last package contains mangoes that go to Gertrude Goose. Don’t get them mangled.”
“Got it,” Solly nodded. “Don’t mangle the mongos.”
“The mongos?” Webster asked.
“Uh, I mean the mongoose,” Solly replied.
“Why would you mangle Matt Mongoose?” asked Webster. “Solomon, are you sure you don’t want to take a sick day?”
“I’m fine!” said Solly, pointing to his head. “No brain fog here!”
Out on Pepper Street, Solly concentrated hard on his tasks. He delivered all three of Jenny Wren’s packages. Solly kept himself upright on his one-wheeled flapicycle, even when...
...an enormous sneeze escaped from his nose.
Solly couldn’t wait to deliver this one last package to Trevor Badger and then go home to snuggle under blankets. It was a good thing he hadn’t let brain fog confuse him! He had made extra-sure to give the couscous to the goose because the mongoose got the mangoes, while the mongos went to...wait, that didn’t sound right. Solly stopped his flapicycle so he could go over just what he did today.
“Mangoes...mongos...mongoose...” Solly slapped his forehead. “Winkin’ walnuts! I’ve gotten my deliveries all wrong!”
Despite feeling worse in his nose, throat, chest and head, Solly turned his flapicycle around. He retraced his route and made sure that this time everyone got the correct item.
Now he just had to drop off Mr Badger’s package. But as he was passing a construction site on Pepper Street...
...his sneeze sent the flapicycle wobbling. Trying to get his balance back, Solly missed the detour sign instructing him to turn left. Instead, he continued straight, where there was suddenly no road! Solly and his flapicycle were now speeding down the steep side of a deep pit made by the construction workers.
His flapicycle hit a rock, sending Solly into the air. He braced himself for a hard landing, but he never got there!
“Whee-hee! I’m flying!” Solly exclaimed.
Or, at least, he thought he was flying. Actually, the grab hook of a crane had accidentally snagged the strap of Solly’s backpack. Solly was dangling from the crane’s hook in midair!
Construction workers shook their heads in disbelief. Then they lowered Solly to the ground and helped him back onto his flapicycle.
Finally at Trevor Badger’s house, Solly made sure to put on a mask and gloves before ringing the bell.
He then called through the door. “This is Solomon Hogg from FlapOnTM with a package for you, Mr Badger!”
Trevor opened the door but cautioned Solly to stand back about two metres. He instructed Solly to open the package and clean it with antiseptic wipes. Solly unwrapped the package to find...an enormous bar of soap.
“You want me to clean the soap?” asked Solly through his mask.
Trevor nodded. Solly shrugged and began wiping down the soap. He suddenly felt a sneeze coming on.
“Oh dear,” he said to himself. “Not now.”
He twitched his nose underneath his mask.
“You don’t have a cold, do you?” asked Trevor, suspiciously.
Solly shook his head. He was unable to answer Trevor because he was concentrating on holding back the sneeze.
Solly twisted his face. He tensed every muscle. He stood on his tiptoes. All to keep from sneezing before he finished wiping down the...the...the...
Solly dashed out of Trevor’s house just in time—
The next day, Solly took a day off work to rest and recover. His bed felt marvellous. Families from miles around sent him warm soups, woolly blankets, hot water bottles and ‘Get Well Soon’ cards. They wanted to show Solly how much they appreciated his hard work.
And who was kept busy all day delivering these packages to him? The starlings.
People also ask
Answers to commonly asked questions
Benefits of reading Airmail - Pig In A Blanket
This short story covers themes of belonging, bullying, hard work, honesty and responsibility. This story can be read to kids in their early ages and is a great way to start a bedtime routine.
It can also be read by children themselves. We recommend children with a reading age of 6 - 10 years old for this story.
Who are the main characters in Airmail - Pig In A Blanket?
The main character in all of the Airmail series stories is Solly the pig. In this animal story and specifically episode 9 there are plenty of animal characters such as a badger, crow, pelican, penguin and a starling.