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The ever growing pig

Once-upon-a-time, there was a farmer named Fred, who owned a pig. The pig's name was Edwina, and she weighed about twelve hundred pounds. Fred was very proud of her. Everywhere he went, he brought Edwina along. People passing him along the sidewalk would say good morning and comment on how beautiful Edwina was. Fred would smile and raise his hat good morning.

By the time of the spring fair, she weighed in at slightly over one thousand, five hundred pounds. When word spread that there was a pig at the spring fair that weighed one-thousand pounds, people came from all over the tri-state area. Someone even gave Fred a hundred dollars for the right to sell Edwina T-shirts and baseball caps.

Crowds gathered in front of her pen. People pointed cameras and flashes at her. On the third day of the fair, a television crew came down to do a story for the five o'clock news. Fred couldn't have been happier.

Even after the fair was over, and Edwina was in her own pen, the people still drove up every morning to see Edwina and have their picture taken with her.

Every day she seemed to get bigger and bigger. News crews camped outside Fred's house so they could give up to the minute coverage on the ever growing pig. One of the news crews arranged to have a scale brought down so they could weigh her.

One day a group of government officials came by to see the pig. They took blood samples, soil samples, air samples, groundwater samples. They asked Fred all sorts of questions. How old was she? Where did he get her? Where are the rest of the litter? What did she eat?

The next day the government officials declared the area of Fred's farm to be off limits to the public. The crowds were restrained at the entrance to the driveway. There were scientists all over the farm taking measurements, while men in dark suits with sunglasses sat in the kitchen asking Fred the same questions over and over, and asking if there was something, just something that he was forgetting. Helicopters landed from time to time, and people with walkie-talkies got out and gave orders to the other anonymous government officials. Soldiers patrolled the area to keep unauthorized people away from the area.

For days, these anonymous soldiers, scientists and government officials hurried frantically around, and Edwina grew larger and larger. She began to grow not only wider and wider, but taller and taller. She grew until she was taller than the trees, until she could look down and see the crowds that had formed on the edge of the restricted area. She grew taller, and the people on the ground grew smaller and farther away.

One morning a scientist sat Fred down to explain to him what was going to happen. Fred couldn't understand why the scientist seemed so uneasy. The scientist looked him in the eyes and told him that Edwina was simply going to keep growing larger and larger. Eventually she would become so large that she would affect the rotation of the Earth. She would develop her gravitational field. At first she would attract small asteroids, and then moons and small planets. She would pull the sun and the rest of the solar system toward the earth. Eventually she would become so large and so dense that even light would not be able to escape her gravitational field. Once things reached that stage all of matter in the known universe would begin to draw in on itself until it reached critical mass and the next big bang occurred. This, they believed would happen in just a few short years. Fred looked at the scientist and asked him if he thought there was still time to move.

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