J Walking

J Walking


Hating on The Three Little Pigs

posted by David Kuo

The Three Little Pigs are directly responsible for the degradation of American creativity and general childhood guilt.
For the past several weeks the Golden Books version of The Three Little Pigs has made it onto Livvy’s high demand book rotation. It is a wretched little story.
In this version of the story, pig one builds his house of straw because he would rather play his fiddle. Pig two because he wants to go join the bugle corps or something. Meanwhile, pig number three is the hearty and noble mason who constructs his little brick house.
Mr. Wolf comes and blows down house one and house two (but doesn’t eat said pigs) and then splashes down the chimney of the brick house but doesn’t die, just runs away.
I’ve got no issues with the wolf. He’s hungry, whatever.
But the moral of the story is that one needs to always put their industrious work ahead of their play or else they are going to end up nearly eaten by a wolf.
Ridiculous.
Kids need to have their imaginations and their creativity fostered. Industriousness is not the highest virtue. Yet that is exactly what these wretched pigs preach.
Horrors.
Away with the pigs. Away with this story. Kids should go out and play their fiddles and join the bugle corps and play their little hearts out and our stories should celebrate that instead of plaining suggesting that work and its byproducts are the most important things in the world.
I think Jesus would agree with me by the way. Nowhere in Jesus’ description of the Kingdom does he say that industriousness is anywhere near the top of the virtue food chain. So away with The Three Little Pigs and in with stories encouraging passionate creativity and play.



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Jen

posted July 24, 2008 at 6:09 am


As a musician, I have to say — yes! I struggle with the ignorant perception that my work isn’t worth as much as, say, my investment banker classmate from college, so this post hit a nerve.



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CGP

posted July 24, 2008 at 6:37 am


There are lots of fables like that. The lazy grasshoppoer (or was it ant?) etc.
Your post, however, is definitely an overreaction and a bit off. I think you’ve got the moral all wrong as well. It’s not that industriousness trumps everything. It’s if you’re going to do something, then give it your best. Remember all three built homes, the first two just completely blew it off.
Do your kids have to do their homework before they go out and play? I assume so. You want them to give it their all when they do it or just guess at the multiple choice and go outside and play?
Are your kids required to clean their rooms? Should they shove everything in the closet and under the bed?
Should we, as adults, ignore work, family responsibilities, or other obligations in favor of whatever other interesting hobbies we choose to pursue?
I certainly don’t think that Jesus would agree with you either. There’s the story of Martha and Mary that demonstrates that a relationship with Christ is more important than worldly industriousness, but it doesn’t equate to blow off all your responsibilities to run barefoot through a field.



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Doug

posted July 24, 2008 at 9:44 am


The Modern Three Little Pigs, submitted for David Kuo’s approval.
Once upon a time, even though Man, not pigs, was given dominion in the bible, three little anti-Christian pigs decided to build themselves homes.
The first little pig built his house out of straw, because he wanted to use 100% biodegradable materials. The second little pig built his home from sticks because they gave the house an airy, open feel. The third little pig, however, just moved into a doublewide.
One day a slavering wolf came looking for a meal so he got a job with the government. He cited the first wolf for a building code violation, which required oat straw rather than alfalfa and, invoking the outrageous Kelo decision, condemned the home. The green little pig escaped to go stay with his brother.
So the wolf went to the second wolf’s house where the two little pigs were hiding. The “arty” wolf cried outside, “Go away, you jerkwater wolf!” But the wolf was hungry so he called over to the wolf church for the congregation to come to the house of sticks and defend marriage. Now frightened, the three little pigs fled to their brother’s doublewide.
Finally, the big bad wolf arrived at the third house where the three little pigs were waiting. The big bad wolf gave the third pig’s job to undocumented immigrants but the third pig just took unemployment benefits. Then the big bad wolf outsourced the unemployment office to India, but the third pig just went on welfare. Finally, the big bad wolf put a tariff on imported Budweiser beer so the third little pig shot him in the butt with two 12-gauge barrels packed with rock salt and the wolf ran away thinking maybe he was hungry for billy goat.
Moral: No matter what your politics, sooner or later populism gets you in the butt.



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Brian aka New Age Cowboy

posted July 24, 2008 at 1:41 pm


No doubt – work is important. Sad things are: we’re working more than the Japanese and we have no real mandated vacation to speak of in this country. Mexico has a better FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) for expectant and new mothers than we’ve got.
Thoreau’s statement that the majority of men live quiet lives of desperation may be more true than ever. Most people I’ve seen that are overly zealous about work fall into several categories: they have been born into money and haven’t really worked; they bury their problems with alcohol; they’ve got huge chips on their shoulders; their families are neglected…
There are exceptions and some folks job proficiencies are way above the average. I have a friend that does engineering out of his house. But he also works less than 8 hours a day on average and is constantly gaming on his computers during his work hours. This fellow is also paranoid his job is gonna be outsourced.
When I taught middle school and elementary, I made peanuts for working 50-60 hour weeks.
I also studied for a Finance emphasis in university and one of the professors used to say in the department that folks enthralled enough with some it… say enough to study certain aspects on a Friday night… he said those folks should seek counseling.
I’ve changed careers. I’m going into nursing which typically pays hourly, instead of salary. I’ve been worked to death on salary and am starting to think salary is for suckers.
I speak Spanish and have probably had more contact with the Latino population than most folks. I’ve heard that Latinos have a saying about their culture vs. ours: People in the States live for their work while Latinos work to live.
Yeah, I know we can say that our economy is so much better than Latin America’s, but at what cost to our sanity and our families? With the disappearing middle-class and rampant political corruption, it seems like we’re becoming a Latin American country anyhow.



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HAK

posted July 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm


;) We tell cildren soem awful tales – Hansel and Grettell anyone?
Just for fun, you should check out the Politically Correct Bedtime Stories series. It’s a huge spoof on the late-90s political correctness fad. See “Snow White and the 7 Vertically Challenged Individuals,” among others.
Here’s a snippet from “Little Red Riding Hood”:
The wolf then said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone.”
Red Riding Hood said, “I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way.”
Teehee!



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RCL

posted July 24, 2008 at 8:48 pm


David:
What of the Parable of the Talents? Was not the wise man the one who invested his talents to good end? And what of the Wise vs. the Foolish Virgins?
The lesson of the Little Pigs is not industry over all – and perhaps you’re reading too much into ‘pigs as symbols of sloth’ – but of the folly of half-measures, and the importance of strong foundations, whether they be in work, education, national security, or faith.
A straw house is a straw house. Doesn’t matter if the wolf comes today or next month.



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Boone

posted July 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm


I always thought that the 3 Little Pigs story was kind of dumb. Now I have a reason for thinking so.



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Macie

posted July 26, 2008 at 8:18 pm


The only thing I ever remembered from the story was that wolf huffing and puffing to blow the house down! But if one isn’t familiar with the three little pigs story then “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. They also authored “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.”
What about Aesop’s Tale of the grasshopper and the ant?



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aquaman

posted July 28, 2008 at 11:35 pm


I’m with David.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Mt 6:28-30)
The pigs were delivered from evil (the wolf) not by faith, but by the works of the third pig. Like a lot of fairy tales, the Three Little Pigs disguises a half-truth as wisdom.
Stick with Dr. Seuss– he’ll never lead your kids astray! (Other than Scripture itself, is there a better story about forgiveness and redemption than “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?”)
Peace.



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Cody Mitchell

posted July 30, 2008 at 1:54 am


dude are you serious right now… i mean come on three little pigs has got to be as good as it gets. and the moral of the story is put work before play, and i don’t think people can get through life playing because if we did nothing would get done, and dude don’t bring Jesus into this ok because i don’t think anybody knows what he thinks because he died like 2000 years ago. yes i am a firm believer in God but please don’t bring God or his son into your useless criticisms towards classic bedtime stories that all of us have grown up with and you honestly can’t say you didn’t grow up with the three little pigs.



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clif judy

posted September 5, 2008 at 6:24 am


Seems to me the straw houses are typical of houses in New Orleans that went the way of the Big Bad Wolf Katrina. Seems the attitude of the straw house pigs is also the attitude of many welfare recipients, “victims”, of today. A lttle responsible effort seems to bring back inordinate pain…
The quicker children can learn this lesson of the Three Little Pigs, seems to me to be the quicker and better approach to life than that of children later having children… all for the sake of a little fun!



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