One of the joys of being a parent (and a human) is the
telling of stories. Every night I
get to tell Tayla and Liam all kinds of stories. Some of them are written by others, some of them Lollie and
I create ourselves. It is always
amazing to see how children use their imaginations as a gateway into the
story. They become one with the
Another thing about children of a certain age is their
ability to live with a story for a long time. Repetition doesn’t diminish the mystery. Therefore many a parent has found him-
or herself in the monotonous affair of repeating a story several times. Tayla has had a few flavors over the
years. Currently it is the three
We have two versions of the story in our house. The one is printed in 2005 and the
other in the 70’s. The differences
in the versions are telling. I
will highlight two of them.
In the first place the 70’s version of the book places the
three pigs in a competition with each other. When the first pig builds his house with straw, the second
and third pig comment that they will build a better house. When the second pig builds with sticks,
the third pig tells his brother that he will build a better house. The 2005 version of the story doesn’t
have this competitive edge.
In the second place, the 70’s version of the story has no
mercy with the first two pigs. The
wolf blows their house down and eats them. Death is a reality in the 70’s version. In the 2005 version the first pig
escapes to the second pig’s house and the two of them make a beeline to the
third pig’s house – no pigs die in this version of the story.
As I’m repeating this story to my kids I’m struck by how the
two versions of the story mirrors the modern and post-modern eras. The 70’s version has it’s stark realities
and individual competitiveness.
The 2005 version shows the community striving against evil but also an
avoidance of reality. I wonder how
I would tell the story- maybe a fusion of the two? What do you think?