The Quixotesque misadventures of unreconstructed Marcher Morgan Jones-Jones, who has probably not heard of the suffragettes let alone second- and third-wave feminists.
What happened now Mam was gone? Without that huge and slippery post over which he had for so long vainly tried to throw his tiny mooring rope he was adrift in a venomous sea. Without the forever-shifting barbed wall there was no longer even the faintest hope of finding somewhere to safely place his back. Morgan wrapped his arms round himself as a convulsive shiver ran down his body. Then he noticed every cat crouching and staring as if he were a particularly tasty strain of mouse.
“Go to hell.” Picking up his mug, he hurled it at the nearest, a monstrous blue-cream with baleful eyes, and felt like crying when it hit the wall and shattered into a thousand pieces.
“I’ll have a look-see if the doctor’s come,” muttered Pritchard-Evans, scratching his head with both hands as he slid round the door. “Back directly.”
Lying toe-rag: it was twenty minutes if it was a day. Pritchard-Evans was off to phone round the news. He couldn’t contain himself for another second. It didn’t take his cronies long to come running either. Talk about vultures gathering. Nothing happened so often in that village they would have fought running battles with the world’s paparazzi for a hint of local scandal – and won.
Naturally, Mrs Pritchard-Evans was first over the finishing line.
Morgan winced, as he has always winced – and known he shouldn’t. But, still. Not a pretty sight at any time, that woman, big and pale and greasy. Mrs PE possessed a face as round and lumpy as an old-fashioned suet pudding boiled in a bag inside the copper along with the washing, eyes like withered currants and a chapel-prim little worm-in-the-rosebud mouth sucked in where she’d had all her teeth out for reasons of economy. Her looks after herself as they say round there, which meant she drank and guzzled on the sly, the usual quiet, private, doomed attempt to fill a vacuum inside, to smother frustrated intelligence and quieten the loss of hope. Speed and excitement had mottled her doughy cheeks with madder blotches. The currants gleamed. Pink rubber gloves flapped like displaced gills from the poacher’s pockets of her outsize-plus green tabard.
Mrs PE slowed to a waddle as she crossed the yard, pausing to rearrange her expression. She had three vices: one, stuffing herself silly; two, compulsive vacuuming; and three, being chronically light-fingered. Which is why she was doubly excited, things being as they were. Morgan, poor lad, being an orphan and a bachelor, therefore totally useless, would need someone to do for him. And his Mam had no end of nice little bits and pieces.
In all fairness it has to be said that there was another side to Mrs PE. She’d tried to mother Morgan on and off for years. When she could get away with it, that is, since shows of affection had been put a stop to very early on. Having no inclination in that direction herself, Mam always viewed any touchy-feely stuff as incipient perversion. Banished to the side lines, Mrs PE limited herself to looking after a few basics – secretly hanging a bag containing seven woodlice round his neck to ease his teething pains; drawing out thorns with a sloughed adder skin; rubbing his persistent warts with a scrap of stolen beef, which was then buried in a mole hill. And, in his troubled teenage years, there’d only been her to warn the lad about the Gwragedd Annwn, the naughty Welsh water maidens of pond and lake, reservoirs even, who weren’t backwards in coming forward, and always on the lookout for a human cywely, that is to say, a handy bedfellow.
Now, at last, Mrs PE was in her element.
“My poor lamb,” she crooned, clasping Morgan to her bosom. “And to think I saw this coming. All the signs were there, but what can we do, what can we do? Year in, year out, your mammy would bring in hawthorn blossom for her wine, no matter what. And eat blackberries after Michaelmas even though the Old ’Un had flown over them. This year we’ve had apple trees blooming after the fruit set, broad beans with black leaves, and corpse candles in the churchyard. And I dropped a loaf getting it out of the oven last Thursday week. Worst of all, didn’t I dream of weddings? Dreams always work contrariwise. Dear, dear. God do move in mysterious ways.”
Released, Morgan noisily sucked in air. Mrs PE whipped off the tea towels. It didn’t take her long to wipe the grin off Dai’s face, but Mam’s expression was already set fast so she covered her up again, and finished by tidying round a bit – no need for all this mess, whatever.
“Afternoon.” Spurred on by both private and professional curiosity, Griffiths the Antique would have beaten Mrs PE to first place if he hadn’t stopped to investigate a skip outside a cottage some fool from Birmingham was time-warping back into the eighteenth century. Even so, his Volvo bounced into the yard, chassis skimming the concrete, the protruding mahogany sideboard festooned with warning Sainsbury’s bags, mere minutes after Mrs PE’s arrival.
He was another big one. Size isn’t such a problem tucked away in the back of beyond. There’s precious little else to do in the countryside but grow food, process food, fill your face or something else’s, and deal with the remains, but he was disgusting with it. His waistcoats and trousers were perpetually ripped and stained. He always had a fat Havana cigar stuck in his mouth though it was never lighted. He didn’t smoke. Griffiths the Antique sucked on it hard, as on a cow’s black teat, until his dummy disintegrated, at which point, Pugh the Ferrets usually rescued the thing and mixed it in with his Golden Virginia. The village kids called Griffiths Mr Toad. You could see why. There was an unpleasantly green tinge to his skin, and curious knobbly protuberances covered his forehead above a letterbox mouth so wide it ended either side of his cheekbones. He was a man who knew everybody’s business and all the contents of all the houses. Nobody ever worked out how. The minute the quarterly bills were overdue, he’d start making offers for bits and pieces out of the blue, things that had been packed away in attics for years, things people had forgotten their grandmothers had forgotten. He lusted after Mam’s collection of Spode chamber pots and the Victorian decoupage screen in the back bedroom. After a grunt and shuffle of commiseration, Griffiths shot upstairs claiming he needed to use the lavatory.
Pugh the Ferrets hadn’t needed telling. He turned up anyway, but he was always skulking about listening at corners disguised in his army surplus camouflage. By the look of him, it was time he took a needle to those holes. Not a good idea to keep ferrets in trouser pockets, especially not when the fabric is worn down to the warp. On the other hand, it was always worth watching his expression change when the nasty little rodents chewed through the lining and ran up and down his legs nipping at things it didn’t bear thinking about.
And if he wasn’t enough, the next arrival was a double dose of misery – Reece the Hill dogged by his missus. They say times are hard for sheep farmers. He should have hired himself out. With a face like a wet week on Llandudno pier out of season, Reece the Hill would have been an asset to any pro-farming campaign aimed at the conscience vitals; one look at him and this prosperous, perennially under-taxed nation would be convinced massive subsidies were necessary. His wife never let him out of her sight. There was a very good reason for this. Ten years ago Reece’s granny left him several thousand pounds but he refused to spend a farthing. Starve-Crow-Farm they call his place. It hasn’t even got an inside loo, though it did have the benefit of running water, straight off the mountain. Frogs came down out of the taps every spring – in one piece sometimes.
Hereford farmers live rich, they say, but Radnor farmers, being misers, die rich. As he didn’t hold with banks, a great deal of Mrs Reece the Hill’s time was spent looking for the hidden cash in order to leave him.
None of those present liked – or trusted – each other. Backwards and forwards they traipsed, poking their noses into what didn’t concern them, watching the competition for gleanings like hawks, brewing more tea, and deliberately getting in the way while waiting for Dr Cadwallader to turn up and officially pronounce the dead, dead. Morgan sat back and let them get on with it.
Cadwallader must have been knocking eighty but was still practising. Nobody within a twenty-mile radius would dream of consulting anyone else, no matter what strings of letters they trailed. He was an apiarist in his spare time, you could smell him coming, honey and wax and Dettol. And hear him too, because he hummed most of the time, Mozart and Beethoven when he was in the mood, but mainly the Beatles.
Bee-keeping was the secret of his success. No honey was ever wasted on bread and butter; little on sore throats. Every last comb-scraping went into making mead, most of which he distilled. Illegal? Of course, and all the better for that. Strong? It could blow your head off. The good doctor swore it cured everything from depression to infertility and, applied locally, piles, gonorrhoea, and brewer’s droop. He had several favourite quotations, including Virgil, Next I come to the manna, the heavenly gift of honey – which explained why several score of red-neck Marches’ farmers had heard of The Georgics – and the Atharvaveda, O Asvins, lord of brightness, anoint me with the honey of the bee, that I may speak forceful speech among men – which encouraged greater consumption than was good for them by both henpecked husbands and put-upon wives prior to their regular Friday night brawls over the housekeeping money. His surgery was usually packed because he treated animals as well, undercutting the vet.
When he finally arrived, the doctor didn’t so much walk in as lurch from doorpost to table. There was nothing unusual about his condition for most of his days were spent in a pale amber haze. Nobody complained. That was how it always had been – and it worked, more or less. His examination was, to say the least, perfunctory. Hum, let’s take a look hum tasting much sweeter than wine dead, they were dead, time of death hum hum eight days a week, cause – they were old hum hearts only last for so long and the sooner the undertaker could get to work on Mam’s face the better hum with diamonds, yeh.
By now Morgan was repeating his eviction notice, but without bothering to get the words in any particular order. Pritchard-Evans discovered a half bottle of Gordon’s gin tucked behind his telephone table. He never did work out where it came from, but passed it on to Morgan, partly out of kindness, but mostly for entertainment value, while Mrs PE bit her tongue and tried to look on it as an investment.
“You got someone to sit with you tonight, Morgan lad?” enquired Cadwallader.
“I’ll take care of him.” Mrs Pritchard-Evans got her stout self between the doctor and Morgan’s vacant gape in a flash. There’d never be a better opportunity for a really good look round. “Co-op’s on the way to collect the,” she nodded towards the table, “diseased.”
“Good. Good. I’ll leave him some sedatives, enough for a couple of days.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “Terrible blow for the poor fellow, losing both parents in one day, phone me if there’s anything hum hum.” As he left, Cadwallader closed Morgan’s hand round a bottle of his golden elixir. “You get yourself a good night’s sleep if you can, my boy. Hum-mmm hard day’s night. Things will look better in the hum.”
Morgan had the decency to wait for Mrs PE to firmly show everyone out before downing the lot, gin, all the sedatives, plus the mead liqueur, in quick succession. For a short while his head felt like a soft-boiled egg being scalped with rusty pliers. After that, and for a few moments before oblivion kicked in, he felt much, much better.
’Twas an evening in November – As far as I remember – I was strolling down the street with drunken pride, But my legs were all a-flutter, And I landed in the gutter, Where a pig came up and lay down by my side. I lay there in the gutter Thinking thoughts I best not utter, When a woman passing by did quietly say, ‘You can tell a man that boozes, By the company he chooses’ – And at that the pig got up and walked away. —Anonyme The tricks of old Circe deter us from wine, Though we honour a Boar, we won’t make ourselves swine. —British Magazine, 1761
“It’s all very well putting out plenty of tasty food,” grumbled Mrs Pritchard-Evans, “but what are we going to offer people to drink? There’s not a drop in the house. You can’t give them tea. What’ll it look like? Someone’s going to have to do something. There’s still time to pop along and get a few bottles of tonic wine from Lewis the Chemist.”
“I’m not buying any alcohol,” said Morgan, clutching his waistband to stop Dai’s trousers falling round his ankles. Perhaps making do with his dad’s old black suit was a mistake. The thing was forty years out of date if it was a day, and made to fit a bloke who’d been a different shape entirely. Four inches too big round the waist looked daft enough, but when it came to the moth-holed jacket only shallow breaths combined with deep and abiding religious faith could keep the buttons fastened. There were moth chrysalides in the pockets, too. And Dai had cut off most of the fly buttons just to rile Mam.
“Not a drop,” Morgan repeated. He himself was now strictly teetotal. This time he meant it. His head still felt a bit strange, but at least he could think clearly again. Intoxicants were exactly what the word said: toxic. Poison, in other words. The glorification of alcohol by the media was a government plot to keep the masses down. It was part of a gigantic international conspiracy. While people were either busy drinking, drunk, or recovering from being drunk, they weren’t doing whatever it was the ruling classes didn’t want them doing. He wasn’t having any part in it. “The cellar’s stuffed full of Mam’s homemade booze. They’ll have to make do with that.”
She sniffed. “Except that you’ve been looking for the key for two whole days now.”
“We’ll break the door down as soon as I find a safety pin to hold up these trousers.” Morgan rummaged in Mam’s sewing-box, bringing up cards of seventy-year-old horn buttons, corset bones, a coral teething ring, and twists of darning wool. There were no safety pins. He made do with a slightly rusty stitch holder. His fingers continued to inch downwards, guided by instinct or buried memories. Right at the bottom, under a tangle of knicker elastic, they closed on a gigantic black iron key, which he waved triumphantly under Mrs PE’s nose. “Patience rewarded.”
For several decades, Mam made wine with the same enthusiasm that she’d brought to chutney. Anything free that would add flavour and body to sugar, yeast and water had gone head first into the fermenting bucket, whortleberries, blackberries, parsnip tops, peapods, hips, haws, and flower petals. But whereas she sold the bulk of her chutney, every last drop of wine had been laid away – gallon upon gallon of it. Row upon row of recycled bottles lined the cellar walls, the contents years old, maturing beyond reason. She never touched a drop, simply liking the look of them, and understood from women’s magazines that having a wine cellar gave one a certain cachet. In addition, it sent Dai demented with longing. He’d last found the key in 1992, and drunk himself paralytic. Mam gave him the hiding of his life when he finally stumbled out, but he’d reckoned it well worth it.
Now it was Morgan’s turn. He felt his way down the unlit cellar steps and tried the key. The door swung creakily open.
Mrs PE trudged slowly after him, a muted clunking accompanying her movements as she stared dubiously into the gloom. Reasoning that as she couldn’t see Morgan he couldn’t see her, she carefully examined the base of the mustard pot she was polishing and, satisfied by the hallmark, sent it to join the other silver concealed about her person. The cats slunk along the walls, keeping an eye on her and counting spoons, but Mrs PE snapped her tea-towel at them and went back to the spread, reckoning she’d done the lad proud for the funeral. The Jones-Jones might have lived like niggards but they were getting a right splendid send-off to be remembered by. Not just the sandwiches, but a good innings of cold cuts and chutney, and a massive raised pork pie, as well as tiddling little vol-au-vents and sausage rolls and other insubstantial social necessities. The soul cakes – to her great-grandmother’s recipe – and proper bara brith – from the 1958 Gas Board recipe book – provided the coup de grace. She sighed with satisfaction when Morgan emerged from the cellar bearing two dozen bottles of assorted cowslip, elderflower, blackberry, gooseberry, and damson.
After an inexplicable moment of panic, the sight of so many gleaming bottles had caused him to rethink his abstention. There was enough wine down there for at least twenty years. A small glass now and then couldn’t hurt. Moderation was the answer. Never more than a couple of bottles a day. He opened some damson to let it breathe, reasoned that he’d better test the stuff, and filled a tumbler.
“Will you try some, Mrs Pritchard-Evans?”
“Careful,” warned Mrs PE remembering Dai, his ranting and his rolling eyes, and the ambulance siren screaming up the valley road after Mam had finished with him. For the time being she limited even her hardened self to a thimbleful. “This stuff’s strong. You don’t want to let yourself down in the church.”
“Oh, come on – it’s only fruit wine.” Self-preservation ensured that Morgan’s conscious memory of that time was hazy. In retrospect, Dai had spoken of it wistfully: an all too brief visit to Faerie, leaving the miseries of everyday existence behind. The first sip was thick and fruity, quite sweet, with intense purple prose overtones. Perfectly acceptable, he thought, for country bumpkins. He gulped down what was left, and reeled as liquid fire scalded his throat, melting his tonsils, paralysing his vocal cords.
In a vain attempt to save face he stumbled away to the quiet of Mam’s cubby-hole of an office. He still hadn’t managed to get her desk open. Now it seemed simpler just to yank the front off each of the drawers. This proved highly satisfactory. An old biscuit tin labelled egg-and-veg money was stuffed full of fivers. From what he could make out the farm accounts were in good order, too. One thing was certain – Mam would have made sure the money stayed in the family. Therefore he was probably quite comfortably off, free to devote his days to creativity, and to Rosie, with any luck. Thanks, Mam. Morgan lapsed into a happy daydream with Rosie kneeling – scantily clad, hair tousled, eyes languid – at his feet, smiling sweetly as he counted banknotes into her little hand. The image couldn’t be sustained for more than thirty seconds. Rosie’s eyes flashed. Smile became snarl. Both hands bunched into fists. He hurriedly snapped out of it.
A sudden thought occurred to him. Someone else deserved a vote of thanks. Yes, and he’d ignored her for three days now, even allowed Pritchard-bandy-Evans to feed her along with everything else. Morgan made up his mind to liberate Venus. Henceforth, she’d have the freedom of the farm and dine on the best of everything.
After extensively testing the bottles of cowslip and blackberry, and reappraising the damson under Mrs PE’s mildly disapproving eye, he staggered outside clutching a couple of soul cakes rejected for having sixty per cent burns. Cold, damp air smacked him in the face, but failed to sober him up completely. In front of the sty he slipped and dropped to his knees in a pool of slurry trickling slowly from the pen. One pink-rimmed eye watched him through a chink in the door. A deep and mournful groan suggested that no food had passed snout since the accident. Morgan held out the cakes and an eager mouth almost took his arm into the bargain. Hardly able to tear his eyes from the enormous, chomping teeth, he hung over the gate entertaining confused thoughts about the Venus de Milo.
Certainly the sow deserved her freedom, but it would probably be safer to take the edge of her appetite first. All he could find was a swede, a sack of layers’ mash, plus some frozen tripe, undoubtedly meant for Mercher, in the garage freezer. It was no time to get fussy. After tipping the lot over the sty wall, he strained back the bolt before pulling the gate ajar from a safe distance with a hay rake, then hurriedly retreated, walking backwards, slipping and sliding, splattering himself up to the waist with combined farmyard ordure as he tried to convince himself that he’d done The Right Thing.
Priddeu Annwm: The Spoils of Hell.
Câd Goddeu, the Battle of the Trees, was one of the three frivolous battles of Britain, occasioned by a dog, a white roebuck, and a lapwing, all guardians of secrets, stolen from Annwn – the Celtic Underworld – by Amaethon ap Dôn. He and his brother, Gwydion ap Dôn, fought Arawn, ruler of the Underworld, with sword and riddle to ensure that these creatures remained on the Earth. Gwydion’s last foray into Annwn resulted in another theft, and thus were the sacred swine of Pryderi brought to humankind. Strange, we think, that pryderi is translated as concern, anxiety, to worry or fret.
The church was packed with long faces, all much practised. Everyone for miles around knew that what Doctor Cadwallader had written on the death certificate wasn’t the whole story. Any minute now the cast of Pigs in Blue might turn up in force and most of those present yearned to appear in an episode.
“Thing is, look you, did the son do it?”
“What a thing to say.”
“Not unknown, knocking off parents. Remember those two boys, in Jersey was it? Or Ayrshire – somewhere to do with cows. They did their mam and dad in for the money. The pair of sinners got caught in the end, though. And put away so they couldn’t do it again.”
“Well, the Jones-Joneses must have had money.”
“All farmers are rich, whatever they say.”
“Anyway he looks like a bad ’un.”
“I always thought there was something funny about him.”
“He was an accident. The missus was getting on a bit when she had him. They’re always a bit you know when they’re born in the hot flushes.”
“And what a day to choose for the funeral – Nos galangaeaf. Halloween.”
“It shouldn’t be allowed.”
“Will you look at the state of him – he’s two sheets to the wind.”
“Ah. Three parts chemist all right.”
“Wedi meddwi. Drunk as a Lord.”
“That’s guilt, that is. He done them both in. No doubt about it.”
Cadwallader kindly palmed Morgan another bottle of his best as he shuffled into the church and, with bowed head, stumbled pew to pew down the aisle. The congregation fanned at the air as he passed, assuming that the appalling smell was a baked-bean-induced rhech from the row in front. When Morgan showed signs of making for the choir stalls, Mrs PE – his keeper – gave him a discreet shove, toppling him sideways. Morgan slumped gratefully, fortifying himself under cover of one of Dai’s big check hankies. Mam’s brew and the doctor’s didn’t mix. The hammering in his head grew steadily worse. His stomach was rebelling, too; during the service he burped and hiccupped a running refrain. Thankfully, he made no effort to sing, though he did smother a laugh when the vicar started eulogising.
The whole congregation waited with bated breath to hear how Emrys Owain could possibly dress up the Jones-Jones’ life for the occasion. It was common knowledge that throughout their marriage they’d fought like cat and dog, using the most terrible language at full volume. They never went to church after the christening. For years he’d played the part of a dirty old man to get her goat and she was a husband beater who landed him in hospital once, though she’d managed to hush it up. Dai claimed his wife repeatedly attempted to poison him and there’d probably been some truth in the accusation for more than once she’d been seen gathering young heads of Waterdrop Hemlock by the brook under the light of a full moon. Mrs Jones-Jones – deceased – had been mean as dirt, never gave a penny to charity. Indeed and to goodness she’d even haggled about prices at the Mothers’ Union jumble sales when buying second-hand clothes for them both. Worse, she’d rigged her scales, habitually cheating on weight, as well as short-changing.
“Dai and Gwenffrewi were of the old school,” Owain began, “living simply, not given to extravagance and ostentation—”
Morgan’s snort of derision was cut short by a painful jab in the ribs from Mrs Pritchard-Evans. He subsided. It was all unreal, as if watching a DVD run by him on >FF. Nothing made sense. And he didn’t believe it was happening anyway.
“Arglwydd, trugarha wrthym,” intoned the vicar.“Lord, have mercy on us.”
“Too right,” replied Morgan. Raising his dad’s handkerchief he partook of the doctor’s mead. Church, flowers, twin coffins, the unctuous voice, all faded from his consciousness. He slid to his knees. And there he stayed.
Owain chose to turn a blind eye, assuming against all the odds that the bereaved was overcome by grief, as he did when Morgan arrived at the graveside, half-supported, half-dragged by Reece the Hill and Pugh the Ferrets. It was raining, of course. But that did nothing to disguise the overpowering pig slurry stink emanating from Morgan’s clothing. Even Pugh was wrinkling his nose a bit, and he hadn’t washed for several years. With the exception of Owain, the entire funeral party shuffled en masse to the opposite side of the grave. Reece tried to join them but seconds later Morgan was facedown, peering into the dark cavern of the infinite hereafter.
“It’s a double,” he croaked. “You can’t put them in a double.”
“Shut your trap.” Reece and Pugh kindly frogmarched Morgan behind a convenient sepulchre where they punched him into a reasonable state of sobriety.
“Close in death, as they were in life,” droned Owain.
Dishevelled, and with his nose bleeding, Morgan loudly objected to his parents being buried together. “BUT THEY HATED EACH OTHER.”
“We all hate each other, lad,” Reece’s lugubrious tone echoed his expression. “See, men and women were created to hate each other.” The sounds of agreement and approval of this sentiment came from a worryingly large proportion of the mourners.
“Couldn’t have put it better myself.”
The coffins were lowered. One of the trouser ferrets chose that moment to escape from a pocket and run down Pugh’s leg. And up again, forcing him to let go of Morgan. Bending forward over the gaping grave, Pugh began to slap at his crotch.
“Come up out of there, you biting bastard.”
“There’s disgusting,” whispered Mrs Reece the Hill.
“No respect,” muttered Miss Price the Arty-Crafty Shop.
“Ffured!” screamed Pugh, by way of explanation.
“Ferret yourself!” retorted Mrs Reece the Hill, who was sensitive about her appearance. She turned on her husband who was now single-handedly trying to keep Morgan upright. “Call yourself a man? Are you going to stand there doing nothing while he calls me names?”
“Shhh,” hissed Mrs Pritchard-Evans.
“Shhh yourself, you fat nosy-parker.” Mrs Reece the Hill marched round the grave and prodded her husband. “Didn’t you hear me being insulted?”
“Quiet, woman,” barked Cadwallader.
The penny finally dropped. Reece glared. “Watch your mouth. You can’t talk to my missus like that, doctor or no doctor.”
“Shhh,” hissed his wife and Mrs Pritchard-Evans in unison.
Reece, totally flummoxed, was obliged to scratch his scalp violently as he attempted to make sense of this turnaround, momentarily letting go of Morgan, who toppled slowly over the edge to lie spread-eagled on top of Mam’s coffin splattering it with maudlin alligator tears and breaking his glasses into the bargain. It didn’t matter about the specs. He’d never needed them. He’d only got a pair because Mam was into screwing every last thing out of the National Health Service, it being English. Not that she was Welsh – unless she felt like it.
Eliza Granville embarked on a legal career before abandoning it in favour of a Bohemian lifestyle. After coming to her senses some years later, she returned to university – BA & MA University of Plymouth, PhD Aberystwyth University – and began writing in earnest. Her stories can be found in UK, US, and SA magazines, and in anthologies. Of several novels published, the most recent are her Holocaust novel Gretel and the Dark (Hamish Hamilton) and Once Upon a Time in Paris (CentreHouse Press). Granville has long been interested in myths, legends, fairy-tales, and in her writing has combined these tropes with her close study of the post-Enlightenment feminist struggle – all these facets euphorically alive in Curing the Pig.