In Pigs, by Robert Munsch, a little girl underestimates the intelligence of the pigs on her farm. One day, Megan’s father asks her to feed the pigs. But he warns her that they are sneaky creatures and will try to escape. When Megan arrives at the pig pen, she takes the pigs for ordinary “dumb” farm animals. But she soon finds out, they are not dumb at all!
She opens the gate, as she was told not to, but the pigs don’t come out. When Megan yells, “Hey, you dumb pigs!” the pigs revolt and charge the gate. As she goes to confess to her dad, she looks in the kitchen window and sees a pig eating his father’s newspaper, drinking his coffee, and peeing on his shoe. Then, she arrives at school and finds that a pig is in the principal’s office drinking the principal’s coffee, eating her newspaper, and peeing on her shoe.
When Megan finds a newborn baby pig inside
her desk, she falls in love with it. She realizes pigs are not so dumb at all. After school, she boards the bus to find a pig bus driver and pig passengers. The pigs drive her home and she returns them to their pen. As she marches into the kitchen, she announces that pigs aren’t dumb, but very smart creatures. She promises she will never let an animal out of its pen—at least not a pig. But then one day, she heads off to the zoo… Who knows what will happen there? Perhaps there will be another book to tell that story.
If you know a reader who likes their children’s book to be silly and positively absurd, then Pigs is the book to look to. The joyful illustrations add much to the levity. There are several lessons that can be taken from this story, not the least of which is that children should listen to their parents. It is also important to take proper care of animals and that young children should not take an animal’s strength or purpose for granted. Care is the order of the day.