In the heart of the city there is a large green park with a fountain that splashes and sparkles three seasons out of the year. City Library is at one end of the park. Shops and eateries line the surrounding streets, and City University is not far away.
People out strolling in this part of the city might notice an old, well-kept apartment building just off Park Street. The apartments inside are comfortable, and the people who live in them tend to stay put for a long time.
All except for a certain gentleman who started out on the fifth floor, then moved to the fourth floor, and a short while later moved again to the second floor.
The other residents found all this moving around a bit strange, and the gentleman doing the moving was rather strange-looking. But since he was also kind and interesting and liked by everyone who got to know him, they just shrugged their shoulders, updated their address books, and got on with their lives.
The gentleman was named J. Porkington Hamm; Porkington to most of his friends.
Porkington worked mornings at Mugsy’s café, around the corner from the apartment, where he crafted delicious soups and salads and other items on the lunch menu. Customers lined up for his soup of the day, of which he was very proud.
When he wasn’t working, Porkington could often be found strolling through the outdoor market in City Park, reading in the library, or chatting with neighbors in the cafe. Lately, however, he was spending more time close to home, and with good reason.
Porkington had a baby.
Rather, he had a piglet that had turned into a baby.
* * *
Porkington was born in the normal piglet way, to a sow named Mrs. Hamm who lived in the animal science department at City University.
Now, it’s a long story, but when Porkington was eight weeks old he received a dose of experimental stem cell serum that transformed him into a person. The problem was, he still looked a little bit … odd. And some people were mean to Porkington. Very mean.
Meanwhile, at a big university in the Midwest, other piglets were given doses of other experimental stem cell serums which turned them into people. One of these people was Swinson McHoag. When Swinson moved east to take a job at City Library, he and Porkington got an apartment together. (That was one of Porkington’s moves.)
Swinson had a brother named Bo who turned out to be not very nice, even when Swinson and Porkington tried to help him. There was a hostage situation and a lot of other unpleasantness. While all this was going on, one last piglet received a dose of experimental stem cell serum. Then a terrible accident happened and two people were killed.
That’s how Porkington and Swinson ended up with a baby named Bonny. But babies who are not born in the normal human way tend to grow up a lot faster than usual. That’s where this story begins.