With time on my hands and no summer trips planned, I’ve been reading a book of fairy tales. I’ve found many versions of the Three Pigs classic. Here’s a condensed story.
An old sow supports three grown sons. She tires of feeding them, and tells the boys to go “seek your fortune.” This means, “Get a job, you slovenly swine.”
So, Pig # 1 quickly builds a straw home and straw bed. The lazy hog promptly falls asleep on it, and invents the term “hitting the hay.”
Suddenly a hungry wolf pounds the door, demanding “Let me in, or I’ll blow your house down.” When Piggy hesitates, the wolf simply exhales, and the house crumbles. Uninsured, Piggy escapes.
Pig # 2 constructs a one-room shack of rotting wood, a real hog sty. Then that loony wolf shows up, claims he’s a potential buyer and demands a tour.
When Pig # 2 refuses, Wolf threatens to howl the house down…which he does. This proves that “his bark is worse than the blight.”
Pig # 3 wisely buys bricks on credit and creates a lovely home. Wolf tries to blow it down, but hyperventilates.
So, he climbs to the roof and enters the chimney. But Pig # 3 places a big soup pot in the fireplace. Sadly, Wolf splashes into it and learns that incorrect swine selection can spoil a meal.
Moral: If you don’t hit the hay or bark up the wrong tree, you can boar your heirs with pig tales.
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Rix Quinn is a former magazine publisher who works as an independent biographer and broadcaster.