Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Story of the Three Little Pigs

My son chose this classic tale by Joseph Jacobs for his bedtime story - and this is definitely a classic version, not a sweetly modernized and non-violent version where the three little pigs end up making friends with the wolf.
On the title page, the mother pig (referred to as "an old sow" in the book) is shown throwing up her hands because her cupboard is bare. As the story begins, she sends her little pigs out to seek their fortunes as she cannot keep them. The first two little pigs make their houses out of straw and furze, and are promptly eaten by the wolf. The wolf, of course, cannot blow down the third little pig's brick house, so instead he tries to lure the pig out by offering to show him fields of turnips and apple trees. The pig is more clever than the wolf, and outwits him at every turn. When at last the wolf comes down the chimney, the little pigs boils and eats him. The final illustration shows a satisfied pig with a big round tummy, ready to live happy ever after. It's a lovely picture, complete with crackling fire, steaming mug, quilt, and houseplant. All the illustrations, by Lorinda Bryan Cauley, are pretty and rather old-fashioned looking.
I personally love the classic fairy tales, complete with gory punishments for the bad guys. I would hate to read a version where the pigs convinced the wolf to be their friend. What kind of a weird lesson does that teach kids? Next they'd be telling me that our gecko should make friends with the crickets we toss in her cage every week, instead of eating them. I prefer that we continue to enjoy watching her snap those crickets up with grace and speed.
There is a fun, updated version of the three little pigs story that we liked, called "The Three Little Rigs" by David Gordon. Instead of pigs, there are little trucks sent off to build their own garages, where they are threatened by the mean magnet, the cruel cutter, and the wrecking ball. And no, they don't learn to be friends - the bad guys end up in the melting pot. Good riddance!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I think this is the version of the little pigs I've been looking for ages! Could you by any chance scan or take a photo of this final illustration (to make it sure)?