The Big Bad Pig Reforms

One day my four-year-old grandson was here for a couple of hours while his mom was otherwise occupied, and he was telling me this story:

“At the other grandma’s house we were reading a book. It was a story about three nice wolves and a big bad pig.

“There was a mother wolf and the three nice little wolves. Then the nice wolves had to go and build themselves each a house. And the big bad pig tried to knock their houses down. He did, he knocked down their houses. And the nice wolves ran away.

And the nice wolves ran into a house that was really strong and the big bad pig was going to knock it down, too.”

So what did the big bad pig do,” I asked. “Did he knock the house down?”

“No. He couldn’t. But then you know what happened? The nice wolves opened the door and let the big bad pig in and he became a good pig. Yes! He became a good pig and they were all playing together and everybody was happy.”

I must ask “the other grandma” about this book of hers, I thought. I hadn’t heard this version. No, it sounds very strange indeed. But then my husband went online and found out there is indeed such a book out now. It’s listed on Amazon here: The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.

One little wolf builds his house of cement and the big bad pig comes with a jackhammer. The next one builds his house of bricks and the pig comes with dynamite and blows it up. (Remember we’re living with savvy children these days. No straw and stick houses. No huff and puff.”

Caution: spoiler alert!
Anyway, the big bad pig does knock down all the little wolves houses, but in the end do indeed invite the big bad pig in to play with them and be their friend. He responds by becoming a nice pig. I can see this as the author’s attempt to show children one way of coping with bullies. Make them friends. Not a bad plan at all.

At least it works with some people. While other bullies, hardened and scarred by a life of brutality, would respond to the offer by trashing the house and devouring his intended victims. In this case the wolves. Or, for a really quirky twist, would the nice little wolves end up eating the pig? Wolves might, you know. (Oh, well. I needn’t inject a dose of morbid reality here.)

Some parents will applaud what the Amazon book blurb calls a “delightfully skewed version of the traditional tale. Some will call this approach enlightenment; some will say it’s a disappointment. I haven’t decided, but I do wonder about the long-term effects of turning the traditional villain into nice little heroes and the traditional victims, the three little pigs, into one nasty villain. But if this is the only version the children ever hear….?

What do you think?

Word Press Daily prompt: disappointment

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5 thoughts on “The Big Bad Pig Reforms

  1. Well… I’m going to say this is cute and all… but kids today have no preparation for reality, not that these fairy tales are reality and when they hit the big bad world are not prepared! I will admit to not being for this type of all is rosy love… 🙂

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    • Thanks for your comment. I suppose this story is meant to combat racism. The one always supposed to be BAD is now good and the one who’s traditionally been GOOD is now the baddie. I do agree with you, though. Children need to be prepared for reality.

      I decided to check out the Bible stories for younger children on the market now and find this same tendency. David knocked the giant down and the Philistines gave up. Gideon scared the Midionites and they all ran away. Daniel’s accusers were scolded, but not tossed in the lions’ den. No deaths involved. I don’t like to see editors changing historical facts for a rosy fiction.

      On the other hand, children past ten often become participants in the most cruel, violent, destructive computer games. How does that happen?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do realise they are trying to combat racism, bullyism and such, but those things will continue to exist (sadly).
        Death is a reality and did happen in all those stories. It’s ridiculous to hide it.
        And I know what you mean. These video games are über violent. Blood and guts everywhere – so we must hide true facts? I dunno…

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