Fresh Living

The news of the Swine Flu outbreak is scary stuff. Especially since it’s not yet contained or fully known or tracked down yet. Yikes. Add it to the list of worries. Sigh.

On a much lighter and somewhat related note, we at Fresh Living were concerned that “swine flu” could instantly contaminate the image and reputation of one of our most beloved creatures–pigs!

I started obsessively collecting pigs as a kid–stuffed animals, banks, books, and on. And I haven’t had a nibble of my smart, happy brethren since 1989. The flu is not their fault. They don’t put themselves in close-quartered cages. If left to their own, happy devices, they’d be as lively and free as our favorite pigs in pop culture. Herewith, as a reminder, the most sublime swine (not in order) who will not give us the flu:

terrificpig.jpg1) Wilbur. Some pig, indeed. Wilbur and his BFF Charlotte opened the world to the pleasures and intelligence of our pink, oinking friends. I watched, I read, I sobbed, I loved. And probably so did you. 

miss_piggy2.jpg2) Miss Piggy. “Hiiiyah!” I had a poster of her saying that in a lavender-belted karate outfit on my wall. She was the ultimate strong (if a tad overbearing) woman. And would not tolerate–ever–being called a pig. In The Muppet Movie in the (ok, my) top 10 greatest films ever made, she is at her actressy, coquettish, bundle-of-womanly-contradictions best. Some fave Piggy quotes: “Never wash your hair with anything you’d hesitate to eat or drink,”  “You have to be going to a pretty awful place if getting there is half the fun,” and “Moi speaks body language fluently, although with a slight French accent.”  

piglet.jpg3) Piglet. My memory is scraping for factoids about this A.A. Milne cutie. But I’ll let him speak for himself:

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. 
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.

Oh and….
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
‘Pooh!’ he whispered.
‘Yes, Piglet?’
‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.'”

Babe_ver1.jpg4) Babe. A pig raised among sheep teaches us about fitting in, being yourself, and kindness. His sheepdog “mom” Fly was impressed by his herding:

Fly: All right, how did you do it?
Babe: I asked them and they did it. I just asked them nicely.
Fly: We don’t ask sheep, dear; we tell them what to do.
Babe: But I did, Mom. They were really friendly.”

As Farmer Hoggett said: “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” 

tootpuddle.gif5) Toot and Puddle. The Bert and Ernie of the children’s picture book world offer the lesson we can all benefit from–how to be together and how to be apart. Toot is a wild adventurer who loves to travel the globe. Puddle is the mellow homebody who loves hearing about Toot’s travels without having to go on any. But they have the most amazingly balanced, sweet relationship this side of Frog and Toad. I have the stuffed animal versions of them and took Toot to every chemo treatment I had.

Olivia-Cartoonx.jpg6) Olivia. This girly piggila is 6 ¾-years-old and has sold more than 1 million books and even had her own USPS stamp (and so has Wilbur). Her (mis)adventures encourage kids to stay positive and reach for their dreams. And she just got her own Nickelodeon series.

And here are some other nods to happy pig appearances–including the Kids in the Hall Flying Pig video. And here are more great pig quotes.


Did I miss anyone?

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