'When Pigasso Met Mootisse'

Story Time

May 17, 2000|By Nina Laden

Editor's note:Two feuding artistic geniuses work together to create a modern art masterpiece and learn that their friendship is their greatest work of all.

There once was a young pig named Pigasso. While the other piglets rolled in the mud and played games, Pigasso painted. He painted anything and everything, and in a most unusual way.

At the same time, there once was a young bull named Mootisse. Mootisse was not like the other bulls. He wasn't interested in bull fighting. Mootisse was happy only when he painted pictures. And he painted big, bold, bright pictures.

In time, word of Pigasso's talent spread throughout the pig provinces. Soon, art loving pigs from all over lined up to buy his creations.

At the same time, Mootisse was getting famous in the cattle community. There weren't many households that didn't own a "Moosterpiece."

Pigasso and Mootisse were becoming art superstars. But this came with a price. Everybody wanted to see them: art buyers, art sellers, art students, art historians, art groupies. It was an art attack!

One day Pigasso got fed up and said, "I'm tired of this noisy pig pen."

At the same time, Mootisse declared, "I'm sick of this crowded cow town."

Needing a change, they both decided to look for a peaceful place where they could paint without distractions.

So each of the two artists looked far and wide for the perfect spot. Pigasso found a lovely farm looking toward the east. Mootisse found a handsome farm facing the west. After Pigasso moved in, he went to introduce himself to his new neighbor across the road.

At first, Pigasso and Mootisse were friendly and welcomed each other as neighbors. But soon, things began to change.

It stared one day when Pigasso criticized one of Mootisse's paintings. Then Mootisse made fun of one of Pigasso's.

Mootisse quipped, "You paint like a two-year-old." Pigasso retorted, "You paint like a wild beast."

Then things got really out of hand. It was a modern art mess.

Then a full-scale feud erupted. But it was a most unusual battle. Armed with ladders and buckets of paint, Mootisse launched the first attack. He started at dawn. By the end of the evening he had succeeded in transforming the outside of his house into a monster-sized "Moosterpiece."

Not to be outdone, Pigasso fired up his paint brushed and, in full view of the enemy, counter-attacked. He turned his farm into a huge and outrageous "Pork of Art."

The two artists then retreated into their houses and pulled down the shades. Pigasso certainly didn't want to look out his window and stare at a "Mootisse." And Mootisse had no desire to give his rooms a view of a "Pigasso."

Without a word to each other, Pigasso and Mootisse each began to build a huge wooden fence down the middle of the road.

At first Pigasso and Mootisse seemed satisfied. Both artists went back to painting by themselves. But after awhile, Pigasso was surprised to find that he missed that bull-headed Mootisse. At the same time, Mootisse found his studio empty without the presence of the pig-headed Pigasso.

However, being naturally pig-headed and bull-headed, neither artist knew how to apologize to the other. So, they did what they do best. They let their paint brushes do the talking.

Pigasso painted on one side of the fence, and Mootisse painted on the other. Each worked until they were exhausted. It was strangely quiet when they were done.

Then, curious to see what Mootisse had been doing, Pigasso sprinted around to the other side. At the same time, Mootisse galloped over to Pigasso's side.

The silence was broken as the two artists began laughing at their amazing work of heart.

From that day on, Pigasso and Mootisse became great friends. They happily took down the fence and shared their different views. A few months later, a big museum bought the fence. Pigasso called his side: "When Pigasso Met Mootisse." Mootisse called his side: "When Mootisse Met Pigasso."

The critics called it "Incredible."

From When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden (c) 1998. Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Used with permission.

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