AN: Of course I don't own Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippou, Miroku, Sango, Kouga, or Inuyasha's really cool sword. I don't even own the story of The Three Little Pigs. The cave and the rainstorm, however, are mine!!!


Outside the cave, beyond the protective barrier of Inuyasha's sword, the storm raged on. Torrential rain had fallen for hours without cease, washing out the path and stranding the shard hunters into the cramped shelter. They had managed to start a small fire with some seasoned wood a traveler had left near the back of the cave, but it didn't produce enough heat to force the chill from the air or dry out their sodden clothes, nor enough light for the human members of the party to see clearly. The group was uncomfortable, irritable, and bored.

"I'm bored," Shippou whined yet again.

Inuyasha growled and swiped his claws towards the little kitsune. With a squeak, Shippou leapt into the relative safety of Kagome's arms. She accepted the bundle of damp fur, petting him on the head even as she chided him for annoying the hanyou. "We all are, Shippou," she sighed, "but you know you are only getting Inuyasha mad by saying it over and over again."

"Are you bored, Sango?" Miroku asked, trying to make out the demon huntress's features in the dim light. "Because I can think of several fun activities to while away the hours..."

Kagome couldn't see exactly where on Sango's person Miroku had placed his hands, but she was sure the slap was well deserved. She sighed again. Shippou giggled. "Stay away from Kagome, you pervert," Inuyasha warned with a growl, scooting closer to her.

"Stay away from my woman, you dogface," Kouga said with his own growl.

"Where did you come from?" Inuyasha complained, jumping to a fighting stance.

"Nasty storm out there," Kouga said, ignoring Inuyasha and speaking to Kagome. "I'm glad to see that dog-face had the sense to find shelter for you."

"Actually, Shippou found the shelter," Miroku said.

"Inuyasha didn't want to be stopped by a little rain," Sango added.

"Feh!" was Inuyasha's reply.

Kagome shuddered as yet another tree limb was hurled into the barrier by the wind. She instinctively tightened her grip on Shippou, who grinned shamelessly at a scowling Inuyasha.

"Inuyasha made the barrier," Kagome admitted, keeping her eyes on the fire, "and without the barrier we might as well be outside in the storm."

"Feh!" Inuyasha repeated, trying not to grin like an idiot at the complement. Lucky for him, none of the humans could really see him anyway.

"Sometimes on rainy days my mother used to tell me a story," Shippou remembered, curling closer to Kagome. "Will you tell me a story, Kagome?"

Kagome smiled down at the little fox. "Okay, let me think for a moment..."

"Tell a story about animals!" Shippou exclaimed.

"Something with a morale," Miroku suggested.

"With an evil villain," Inuyasha demanded.

"With a wolf!" Kouga said.

Kagome smiled. "I know just the story. It is an old European fairy tale my mom used to tell me. Well, I'm not sure how old it is, maybe it hasn't even been written yet, but here it goes: There once were three little pigs, and they were brothers."

"And the oldest brother was the villain," Inuyasha added.

"No, the oldest brother was not the villain," Kagome scolded. "Don't interrupt. The three pigs were brothers, and none of them were evil villains. The three brothers each built a house."

"Why?" Kouga asked.

"Why what?"

"Why did each brother build a house? They should have shared a den. A den is easier to defend against enemies, and when you live in a den you can share the tasks of pup rearing. You would be a lot happier in a den then you are wandering about with this dog-face, Kagome."

Kagome rolled her eyes. "At the end of the story they all live together, okay, Kouga?" Kouga nodded and smiled, showing his fangs.

"Now you've ruined the story, you stupid bitch!" Inuyasha complained. "What did you have to tell the ending for?"

"That isn't the ending!" Kagome yelled. "Sit!"

*Crash* "Stupid bitch, what did you do that for?"

"Don't interrupt! Once upon a time there were three little pigs."

"And they were brothers," Shippou added.

Kagome gave the little fox a smile and then continued. "The first little pig built his house out of straw. The second little pig built his house out of twigs. The third little pig built his house out of bricks."

"What the hell is a brick?" Inuyasha asked, still flattened on the floor of the cave.

"Oh, it is a building material made of straw and clay and baked in a kiln," Kagome answered.

"He made his house out of pottery?" Sango asked, confused.

"What a funny house! I'll bet it fell down, and that is why he had to move in with his brothers, right Kagome?" Shippou asked.

"No, um, bricks are really sturdy," she said. Everybody laughed. "It isn't a joke! We make lots of buildings out of bricks in my time."

"Feh!" Inuyasha said. "That just goes to show how stupid everything is in your time!"

Kagome had to bite her tongue to keep from sitting Inuyasha again. "Inuyasha, you've been to my time. You remember those blocks my school is made of? Those are bricks!"

"Oh," Inuyasha said. "No, she's right," he told the group. "Those bricks are really strong. It is like building out of small blocks of stone, but all the stones are identical in size and shape."

"That must take a lot of skilled stone-cutters," Miroku observed.

"Your school's benefactor must be wealthy," Sango added.

"No, bricks are molded, not cut, and they're made of scrap materials, so it is really a very affordable way to build. Can I get back to the story?" Kagome asked. She never would have imagined that telling a simple fairy tale would get so complex!

The youkai and hanyou nodded. The humans, knowing Kagome couldn't see in the cave, asked her to please continue.

"So one house was made of straw, one house was made of twigs, and one house was made of bricks. One day, the big bad wolf came looking for the three little pigs..."

Inuyasha let out a bark of laughter. "The wolf is the villain?"

Kouga growled at the hanyou. "Wolves are not villains! They are noble, aiding in the hunt and playing with our pups!"

Kagome let out an embarrassed laugh. "Actually, in this story the wolf is the villain. Sorry, Kouga."

Kouga sat down, upset that his woman would portray a wolf as a villain, but Kagome couldn't see his dejected expression, so she continued with her story. "So one day the wolf" -- she left off the big and bad parts -- "came looking for the three little pigs because he was hungry. He found the first little pig in the house of straw. He knocked upon the door. 'Little pig, little pig, let me in!' the wolf said. 'Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin,' the little pig replied."

"What in the hell is a chinny-chin-chin?" Inuyasha asked.

Kagome blushed. "It's just the pig's chin."

"So a pig's chin is called a chinny-chin-chin?" Sango asked.

"No, um, the story is just told that way. That way what the pig says rhymes with what the wolf says," she tried to explain.

Everyone just looked confused, so she continued. "'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!' The wolf said. So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew down the house made of straw. The little pig squealed and ran to his brother's house made out of sticks."

Inuyasha howled with laughter at the ridiculousness of the story, and even Shippou chuckled. "Um, Kagome, I've seen buildings built of straw before, and I don't think they could be blown down by the breath of a common wolf," Miroku pointed out.

Kouga was concerned about something much more important than the stability of straw as a building material: "What kind of wolf can't catch a stupid pig?" he asked incredulously. This only made Inuyasha laugh even louder.

Kagome attempted to talk over the noisy youkai and hanyou. "So the wolf went to the straw house and said, 'Little pig, little pig, let me in!' 'Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.' 'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!' And the wolf huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed and he blew down the house made of sticks."

"Wait, let me guess," Inuyasha burst out between barks of laughter. "The two brothers ran to the third brother's brick house, and the wolf failed to catch either of them, right?"

Kouga scowled. "That isn't what happens!"

"Um, actually, Kouga, that is what happens in the story. The three brothers all hid in the brick house built by the third brother."

"The huts in Kaede's village are made of twigs," Miroku observed, "and I don't think even this storm would blow them in. Your story isn't very realistic."

"I know that," Kagome said, "that's why it's called a fairy tale!"

"What's a fairy tale?" Shippou asked.

"Not important," Kagome answered, shaking her head. "So the three little pigs are all in the brick house, okay? And the wolf comes to try to eat the pigs again."

"And the noble wolf blows down the clay house, kills the three pigs, eats the smallest himself, and carries the other two back to his den to feed his mate, his brothers, and his pups!" Kouga finished.

"That story has a good moral," Shippou said, nodding.

"That's not how the story goes!" Kagome cried in frustration.

"What does happen, Kagome?" Sango asks.

Kagome just wants this story over, so she paraphrases. "The wolf can't blow down the house. He leaves, and the three little pigs live together in the brick house."

"Where's the moral in that?" Shippou asks, confused.

Kagome sighed, staring into the fire. "It takes a lot longer to make a house of bricks then it does to make it of straw and sticks. The moral is that you should work hard to build a strong home instead of doing things quickly and not correctly."

Everyone is quiet for a moment. The firelight dances across the faces, one frustrated and the rest confused. Then Shippou's face brightens. "Like with this cave, it would have been quicker to just find a hollow tree to hide in during the storm, and it took longer to find the cave, but the cave is a better shelter because all of you could come too! And Inuyasha had to set up the barrier with his sword, and Miroku and Sango set the fire using Kagome's matches and the wood someone else left for us, and working together we got a much nicer shelter than just hiding in a tree!"

Kagome petted Shippou's head thankfully. "Yes, that's right," she said.

"Before we leave, we should put some more wood in the cave for the next traveler that needs it," Sango said.

"I love a conscientious woman," Miroku said. Kagome wasn't sure just what he did, but she was sure he deserved the slap Sango gave him.

"Well, I for one have never heard such an insulting story in all my life!" Kouga complained. "Do you have no respect for my brothers the wolves? Is that why you keep wandering with this dog-face instead of returning to my den with me?"

"It isn't like that!" Kagome cried. "It's just, this story is European, and the Europeans didn't like wolves because they ate their livestock!"

"Then there must not be any wolf youkai where these u-ro-pee-ns are, or they would understand the nobility of the wolf!" Kouga insisted.

Kagome leaned towards Kouga and patted his arm reassuringly, ignoring Inuyasha's warning growl. "I'm sure that must be it," she answered, deciding not to mention that just before she had met Kouga, he had told his wolf youkai brothers to devour an entire village for supper.

"Then do you know any other wolf stories? One where the wolf is noble and good?" Kouga asked, leaning closer to Kagome. Inuyasha growled louder.

"Well..." Kagome said as she ran through all of the wolf stories she knew. There was "Little Red Riding Hood," but the wolf was the villain in that story, too. She knew Aesop's Fable of the wolf in the vineyard, but that wolf was rather foolish. Oh, wait! "'The Tenth Kingdom!'" she exclaimed. "That story has a very noble wolf."

"Is there a fox in that story?" Shippou asked.


"What about a dog?" Inuyasha wondered.

Kagome blushed. Maybe that wasn't such a good story to tell after all...



Unless you want to hear Kagome tell the story of "The Tenth Kingdom," but that story is really long... Please review!