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Lessons in Fairytales
When I sat as a child, listening to my mother read this story to me, I felt the movement of the story in the different inflections of tone in her voice. She would raise her voice to imitate the pigs and lower it for the wolf. She would emphasize the events as they happened. The pigs were the good guys and the wolf the bad guy. It peaked and held my interest, even though it seemed kind of dramatic for my young mind to absorb. After each of the first two pigs, she reminded that it could happen to me if I were not careful. She was entertaining me while teaching me lessons as well.
There once were the three pigs and a wolf. Each pig knew that he needed shelter from the elements of the earth and so each one set out to build a house.
The first pig didn’t put much thought in building his place because he wanted to play instead of work, so he built his house of straw and never considered what could happen. The second little pig put more thought and effort into his house. He built it with sticks that seemed sturdy enough, but like the first pig, he wanted to play instead of working. The third little pig put a lot of thought and planning into his house because he built it with bricks. He knew that it was strong and it would withstand the weather and he would be dry in the rain and warm in the cold. While the other two pigs had played and eaten and teased that he should come out and play, the third little pig had worked long and hard until his house was done. After his work was done, then he had the time to play and eat.
One day a wolf came along, following the path upon with the pigs had built their houses by. He was hungry and he was hunting. As he came upon the first pig’s house, he could smell the first pig outside playing and the wolf saw how fat and juicy the little pig looked. He must have thought what a fool the pig was when he saw the pig run into his house made of straw. The wolf knew that the house would not stand up as any defense to him. The wolf cried out “Let me in!” The little pig, which was afraid and trembling terribly, refused to come out and replied “Not by the hairs of my chinney-chin chin!” So with very little effort at all, he huffed, puffed and blew the straw house down. The little pig found himself with no shelter or protection and realized that the wolf was going to eat him, which the wolf did.
Now, wolves are known to be cunning and clever so down the path he went to see what else he could find and eat. It was not long before he came upon the second house made of sticks and he saw the fat little pig playing happily, uncaring of what could happen next. Yet as soon as he saw the wolf, he squealed and ran into his house for protection. The wolf thought that it must be his lucky day, because not only had he found one foolish pig to eat but not he had found another one. He laughed gleefully to himself and then he called out. “Let me come in!” The terrified pig, inside the house made of sticks, answered in a squeal, high and keening with fear, “Not by the hairs of my chinney-chin chin!” The wolf never answered him but took a very deep breath, and then he huffed and puffed and blew the house of sticks down. The second little pig was helpless and soon followed the fate of the first little pig. He became the wolf’s second meal of the day.
Now the wolf knew he was on a roll as he continued on down the path which led him to the brick house of the third little pig. This pig was also playing outside but as soon as he saw the wolf, he ran inside his house made of brick and locked the door. The wolf, who was now convinced that all pigs are stupid, laughed to himself once again before he called out to the third little pig. “Let me come in!”
The frightened but confident little pig inside called back. “Not by the hairs of my chinney chin chin!”
With great confidence, the wolf took another deep breath and then began to huff and puff but no matter how hard he blew, he could not blow the brick house down and the little pig inside stayed safe. The wolf tried over and over again but it was no use. He could not blow the house down. Finally, out of breath and tired, he gave up and went on down the path without eating the third little pig.
There are varying different themes on the tale itself, two separate telling of the same story. The first one was where the wolf blew up the third little pig’s house with dynamite and ate the pig. Then another version, which seemed more to the original version, where the pig went to market the next day and bought a butter churn and when the wolf tried to entrap him on the road, the pig hid in the butter churn so the wolf could not get to him. When the wolf gave up and left, the pig took the churn home and then began to cook his supper of buttered turnips. However, the wolf returned and tried to climb down the chimney and he fell into the pot of hot water and the pig ate him!
The story taught a moral which was that all play and no work is not a good thing. One should be prepared in life or else they will pay the consequences. As in the ways described below.
The first little pig resembles a young teenager who has the philosophy of “Let’s hurry up and get it done so we can go out and have some fun. If the job is not done well, then it is no big deal.” Yet, when it backfires and they have to pay the price, they want to cry and moan. They bypass wisdom and common sense and refuse to see that there are others in the world waiting to take advantage of them.
The second little pig resembles a young adult who is trying to be smarter but still foolish in the fact that you have to make better plans or else halfway is not good enough. You have to take your responsibilities seriously and they must come before pleasure. If the young adult fails to do that, then they also must suffer the consequences.
The third little pig is represents of a mature adult, who although they would like to have fun and play, they take care of their responsibilities first and then have the fun, and so when something bad happens, they are prepared and have a safety net. It also shows the pig’s sense of never leaving anything to chance so he would not eaten. A mature person tries to cover all the bases they can by weighing all of the pros and cons.
Fairytales are just stories as there have been stories always told that teach a lesson. This story’s lesson is being prepared and all will go well.
This story could be frightening to a small child because it is violent and true in nature and also of the society implement that we always have “wolves” knocking at our door.