+ Pigs is Pigs +

by Ellis Parker Butler + Illustrator Unknown

Pigs is Pigs illustration

In 1959 when I first started reading the Reader's Digest Junior Omnibus, the story Pigs is Pigs was hilarious. There weren't so many stories about adults screwing up as there are now, and certainly not the daily onrush of big and small catastrophes created by some bureaucrat blindly following an unclear rule or policy.

Mike Flannery, stationmaster at a small railway depot, takes delivery of a crate containing a pair of Guinea Pigs. He decides the animals are pigs and not pets and attempts to charge the consignee, one Mr. Morehouse, the (higher) rate for two pigs as opposed to the (lower) rate for two pets. Mr. Morehouse refuses to pay the higher rate and Flannery is stuck with the two guinea pigs, which become eight guinea pigs, which become sixty-four guinea pigs...

Pigs is Pigs was first published as a short story in American Magazine in 1905, and over and over again in the years to follow. Pigs is Pigs is online, available for free in several versions. Youtube has the 1954 Disney cartoon version of Pigs is Pigs, told in rhyme and a Scottish brogue. Leo Salkin adapted the story and Joe Kinney directed.

Ellis Parker Butler

Butler photo Ellis Parker Butler was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1869. He wrote many books and stories; Pigs is Pigs is the best known. Like many authors, Butler worked at a full-time job while writing. He was a banker. Butler was active in the Authors' League of America; he was on the council and served as secretary and treasurer. He also belonged to the Authors' Club of London, and was a member of Salmagundi, the Players, and the Dutch Treat clubs of New York. He was married to Ida Zipser and they had four children. He died in 1939.

+ Omnibus Home Page + The City That Died to Live + Man Overboard! +
+ Annie Oakley and the Wild West + The Princess Who Wanted the Moon + The Night My Number Came Up + I Killed "Moby Dick" +
+ Hector, the Stowaway Dog + The Day I Met Midnight + Hunter + History and Horrors in Wax +

+ If you want to comment about Pigs is Pigs, please write to omnibus@chebucto.ca
+ If you have an extra copy of the Reader's Digest Junior Omnibus, I'd be happy to send it on to someone who has lost theirs.
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+ A labour of love by Jane Kansas, last updated on July 9, 2011.