Friday, May 31, 2013

The Fifth Little Pig

We all heard about the three little pigs when we were kids.  It was supposed to teach us to work hard to be safe, and not be foolish.  Personally though, I think it needs to go a bit farther. The story of the three little pigs stops too early to teach the real lesson it should be sharing.

The third little piggy did build his house of stone, and the big bad wolf did huff and puff all day, and just could not blow the house down.  So, the wolf called his family back home, then waited and waited until there were many more wolves, and they pulled the stones from the walls and ate that third little piggy all up.

The fourth little piggy saw all this and said to himself, "I will build my house of steel!"  He built his house of steel, tall and strong, with food stored and a well underneath, and thought himself safe from the wolves forever.

He was right, in part, for all the wolves in the world could not tear down his house, nor could they force his door.  He waited for the wolves to leave, to give up when they found they could not blow his house down.  He thought they would grow tired of battering against the steel walls.  He thought they would become civilized with time, and grow to become peaceful like the pigs.  After all, the pigs ancestors had been boars, but this land had made them peaceful, and he thought that surely the same would be true of the wolves.  He waited for a time, and a time again, but he died of starvation when his stores ran out, and the wolves won still.


Yet curiously, no one ever wants to talk about the fifth pig, the pig who didn't live in a house. The fifth little pig who never learned to read.  He could barely count to 20, and his pa wasn't much better.  The other little pigs had always made fun of him and his tattered clothes and slow speech, his bumpkin ways and old-fashioned thinking. They called him a boar, and told him he was living in the past and needed to catch up with society.

When the papers said the wolves were coming, the fifth pig did not build a house.  He did not try to hide.  The fifth little pig got a rifle and learned to use it. He told his cousins that they should do more to protect themselves, and he cried every time the wolves ate his kin.

With no other pigs left, there were no voices telling him to respect the wolves' culture, no voices blaming the violence on the unfairness of a system where some pigs grew fat on the crops they worked hard to grow, and other pigs starved on what was left for them to gather.

Looking around at a land that had once belonged to his own kind, and seeing no other pigs, but only wolves gorging on the bounty his kind had worked hard to create, the fifth little pig got mad.

He came in out of the mountains, and in a loud voice told the wolves that today they must begin to respect his culture, and the wolves grinned up at him.  For this was a pig, standing up to wolves, and they saw only bacon on the hoof.


To this day, the fifth pig sleeps in an empty cave, bedding down every night on a bed of wolf skins, a boar in truth.