|Three little pigs image by Loren Javier via Flickr|
The traditional version tells of the first little pig choosing to build with straw, the second with wood, and the third with brick. Each of the little pigs faced the same danger, the wolf, who wanted to eat the pigs and who threatened each with huffing and puffing to blow their houses down. The traditional version implies that the first two little pigs were happy-go-lucky, not willing to work hard or prepare for their future. Only the third little pig works hard. And it's clear that the third little pig is supposed to be the hero of the story.
But even in the original story, there were differences among the pigs. They each built their houses on different plots of land. So let's consider the land available to each as one of their resources. The first little pig's plot may not have been as suitable for building a brick house. Instead of being the most foolish of the pigs, he may have been just as wise as the other two, given the resources available. If the first little pig's land was marshy, a brick house might have just sunk away into the marsh, taking with it all of the little pig's financial resources.
|First little pig image by Loren Javier|
The first little pig may have learned about the dangers of taking on too much credit through an experience with bankruptcy. This would explain his reluctance to go into debt just to put a roof over his head. That first little pig applied all his real property, personal property, and financial resources, together with all that he had learned in his life to build a modest home, a starter home, with the hope of eventually being able to move into a larger, most substantial home in the future.
Or maybe the first little pig had made a commitment to work in a field where salaries are not high. I don't mean manual labor or work that doesn't require higher education; social workers, teachers, and the clergy are all professions where the practitioners have chosen service over wealth. And all our lives are enhanced by the work they do.
|Second little pig image by Loren Javier|
|Third little pig image by Loren Javier|
And then there is the wolf. It would be interesting to consider the story from his point of view as well. Did he just happen upon the straw house first? Or was he directed to that house by an anonymous tipster? Was he the villain in this story or just an unwitting pawn in the plot to wipe out the resources of the first and second little pigs? Whose cooking pot did he end up in at the end of the story?
Can we really know enough about a pig's character just by looking at them or at their possessions?