One thought on “The Three Little Pigs And The Somewhat Bad Wolf

  1. Kathleen Crawford-Mckinney & Jean Schroeder says:

    Jean: What a law-abiding bully this Somewhat Bad Wolf (SBW) is! He doesn’t come across as being a bully until he blows down the first house, despite our background knowledge of wolves in literature. He doesn’t know his own strength and then when he figures it out, he is surprised by it.
    Kathleen: I wonder if young readers/listeners would think that the SBW is a bully as in other versions of the three little pigs? Is he a bully or is he not? When the SBW realizes he could blow down a house, he puffs himself up and moves onto the next piggy-smelling house. Does this make him a bully?
    Jean: He is in awe of himself. When kids discover something for the first time, it is a “wow” moment for them. I think the wolf is having one of those moments.
    Kathleen: I wonder if young readers can find evidence in this version of whether the SBW is a bully or just in awe of himself.
    A Strong Gender Message
    Kathleen: The female pig, who is the third little pig is portrayed as smart as well as worldly wise, even with a bow on her head. The first two pigs, who are males, go over to where the third little pig is building her house and watch her do what is needed to be safe and comfortable. The two boys just sit and watch her work while they eat potato chips and drink sody-pop. These actions send a very strong gender message that women do the work, while men sit around. The choices made by the female pig portray a healthy living style. While the choices the two male pigs make are rash, and are only focused on an immediate gratification. They do not want to consider eating healthy garden pickings that the third pig planted and harvested. Is this one of those “girls rule, while boys drool” issues?
    Jean: I’m reminded of the Piggybook (Anthony Browne), in which the mother cleans up after the boys and the father who are basic slobs. When she disappears their true nature emerges and they begin to turn into pigs themselves along with the wallpaper, the light fixtures, etc. In the end, they change their ways and she gets to do what she likes…work as a car mechanic.
    Decision Making Strategies of all Three Pigs:
    Jean: The third little pig has common sense. Her decisions and advice influence the other two even though they really didn’t want to make the choices they did. They want to spend the money they received from the farmer on potato chips and sody-pop. I can relate to their decision-making dilemma. I think we all have to make those kinds of decisions from time to time – the difference between want and need.
    Kathleen: Decisions vs expectations. The third little pig’s expectation is to build a home that is stable. The other two pigs don’t have any expectations, not even to build a home. And when they make bad decisions in the materials they use to build their homes, they run as fast as they can to the next little pig’s home.
    Jean: It seems that all three pigs are interested in getting “a deal” when building their houses. The first little pig uses straw because it isn’t going to cost a lot of money and then there will be money left over for potato chips; the second pig decides on sticks because he can collect them himself and not put out a penny so he can have money for sody-pop. The third little pig receives a handout from the sales person because she spent all her money and now she feels like she got a deal. Everyone is happy!
    Ending:
    Katheen: I was disappointed at the end because the SWB moves into the 3rd little pigs’ home. The ending cleans up too neatly. Even if we go with the strong female voice stating, “My house, my rules” when it comes to rules of her home, no self respecting wolf would live by any rule other than his own! It is too symbiotic.
    Jean: However, the end does say “hardly” ever bad again; which leaves the door open for the SBW not to be complacent. But he does have the good life now. He has someone to cook for him. Sort of like the animals we perceive as dangerous, they are not vicious if they have already eaten and are full. Let’s hope there is no early frost…

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