Jury rules in favor of Curly Pig
May 13, 2010
- Big Bad Wolf accuses Curly Pig of assault by leaving pot of boiling water on the fire.
- Pig squeals on wolf during testimony.
- Jury finds wolf's testimony a howl, sides with pig.
FORT SILL, Okla.--It was a fairy tale day in court as judge Capt. Erin Morris tried to keep the plaintiff, Mr. Big Bad Wolf (Sgt. Franklin McDonald), the defendant, Mr. Curly Pig (Sgt. Timothy Vann) and a crowd of elementary students under control.
It was a new twist on a classic story as the "The Three Little Pigs" was played out in a mock trial for Geronimo Road Elementary School students as part of Law Day.
"We do this because it's our way of teaching or at least exposing children to the law, to legality cases, and conflict,"said Morris.
Morris added that it's also very entertaining as the Big Bad Wolf has his day in court as the plaintiff suing Mr. Curly Pig.
B.B. Wolf limped onto the stage May 5 claiming he was almost cooked by the swine in a boiling pot of water. But, before trial could begin, a group of 12 jurors had to be chosen. Morris strolled through the sea of raised hands in what looked like the most excited group to ever want jury duty. She picked a dozen and Mr. Pig's attorney, Spc. Elizabeth Hosler, and B.B Wolf's attorney, Sgt. Janine Johnson both gave their opening statements.
Next, B.B. Wolf was called to the witness stand. He was limping, using crutches to walk and was trying to gain the sympathy from the audience. He raised his right paw and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help him God. The elementary students were familiar with the wolf's rap sheet which didn't bode well for his character. Regardless, the wolf huffed and he puffed and blew out his account of the attack.
"Well, I was walking by his house and I haven't seen my good buddy in a while so I decided to knock on the door. I knocked and I knocked and there was no answer. Then I realized that my good buddy Curly Pig is such a heavy sleeper and I knew he would never forgive me if I didn't at least say hi," claimed the wolf. "Well, as I was attempting to climb down his chimney to say hello, the cover of a boiling caldron of water was taken off the pot and I got shot up right through the chimney."
An objection flew out of the mouth of the attorney for the defendant. Hosler said he was guessing at Mr. Pig's motives. The wolf ended his account stating when he fell about 500 yards away from the house he saw Mr. Pig staring out of a window laughing at him.
He left the witness stand falling snout first onto the stage and yelling that Mr. Pig tried to trip him. The crowd started chattering and then a rush of boos came out, as they didn't buy into the stunt.
Mr. Jack Smith (Staff Sgt. Jonathan Heinrich) was next on the stand and he explained that he owned a building company in which he helped make all three pigs' houses.
"The first one came to me for building materials. His name was Larry. He asked me for a bundle of straw and I said I don't think you want straw to build your house. That's not very supportive, you know, it'll probably come down with a little wind especially here in Lawton. But he didn't want to listen so I built it anyway," said Smith.
Smith said the second pig asked for sticks to build his house and the Big Bad Wolf had blown both of the structures down. He added the wolf was really starting to hurt his business.
Next, Curly Pig was called to the stand to tell his account.
"He (Mr. Wolf) happened to come by my house thinking that I would be easy pickings like my two brothers and that he could just blow over my house. Well what he hadn't noticed is my house is built out of bricks and there was no way he was getting in there, so he came by and he said, 'Little pig, little pig, let me come in.' Well, I knew that was a trick so I laughed and said, 'not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.' I don't think he liked that very much and he said, 'then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in.' I laughed and just went into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich."
Mr. Pig claimed the harassment continued into the night and the jurors and students started to shout their disapproval. He claimed he was about to boil some apples for apple pie when he heard the wolf coming. So he ran over and pulled the lid off the caldron of water but added that he didn't know Mr. Wolf was coming down the chimney at the time.
"I heard this howl and then I heard him fly out. I never really saw him after that until today when he came in here faking an injury," said an outraged Mr. Pig.
Mr. Pig was cross examined by the plaintiff's attorney who said she could prove he was in fact trying to cook the wolf because a cookbook was found in his home turned to a page on how to make wolf-poach.
He countered by saying the steam from the pot must have blown it to that page and that he was actually a vegetarian.
Mr. Wolf's attorney closed her argument by saying her client had been injured by Mr. Pig after he tried to cook and kill him. She stated his injuries were so severe he was forced to use crutches and asked the jury to find Mr. Pig guilty of all his actions against Mr. Wolf.
The defendant's attorney shot back and said B.B. Wolf was attempting to break into her client's home and Mr. Pig was innocent.
"Mr. Wolf has a history of terrorizing the pigs of Lawton. He blew down the home of my client's brothers. He was attempting to break into my client's home. He had every right to have a caldron of boiling water on his fire. It was inside his house. That's all I have your honor," said Hosler.
The jury was asked who they thought was guilty the pig or the wolf. The young group deliberated for a good 10 seconds after one undecided juror changed his verdict to coincide with the rest.
They decided that Mr. Wolf had cried, well, wolf and they found him guilty of making false charges against Mr. Pig and trying to break into his home.
The wolf then showed his true colors. After his sentence was handed down his charade was dropped along with his crutches. He tried to attack Mr. Pig but the bailiff, Spc. Albert Valle, reacted quickly and dragged him away instead.
Morris felt it was a fairy tale ending to a perfect Law Day mock trial.
She added the attorneys advocated well for both clients. The pointing of fingers and wild objections didn't surprise her in court, but the amount of time it took the jury to deliberate did.
"It did seem like they thought a little bit more on this one even though I do acknowledge that they came back quickly the fact that it took them more than just a second surprised me so I think they may have even thought of the wolf for a second," said Morris.
All of the characters except for the judge were played by Soldiers who are paralegals for the Staff Judge Advocate here on Fort Sill. Morris is a legal assistance attorney on post.
The skit was just one example of Law Day being celebrated across the U.S. as a way to reflect on the role of the legal system in the foundation of this country and its continuing importance. Law Day originated in 1957 when the American Bar Association President Charles Rhyne envisioned a special day for celebrating the legal system and was put into existence by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958.