Date of Performance/Collection: 4-17-19
Primary Language: Spanish
Other Language(s): English
Main Piece: “Once upon a time, there were three pigs that were siblings. They were all grown up now and decided to go out and make their own way. The first pig finds a place and makes a house out of straw, the second pig finds a place and makes it out of wood sticks, and the third pig makes his house out of brick. One day, a wolf shows up to the first pig’s house and asks him to come out. When he doesn’t the wolf tells him that he is going to ‘huff, and puff, and BLOW the house down.’ The wolf blows down the first house but the pig escapes and ends up at the second brother’s house. The wolf follows the pig to the seance house made of sticks and again asks them to come out. The pigs say no, and again the wolf says ‘I’m gonna huff, and puff, and BLOW your house down,’ The house falls, and the pigs escape again this time reaching their last brother’s house. When the wolf arrives here, he once again asks them to come out and when they refuse he once more says ‘I’m gonna huff, and puff, and BLOW your house down.’ This time however, the house didn’t fall and the wolf became very angry. So instead the wolf climbed on top of the roof and made his way into the chimney and started climbing down. The brother who had made the brick house, quickly ran to the bottom of the chimney and placed a pot of boiling water. As the wolf fell down the chimney, he landed in the pot and the fireplace also caught him on fire. He ran out of the house never to be seen again, and the three pigs lived happily ever after.”
Background: UV told me that one of the things he noticed in Mexican tales was that they are heavily influenced from around the world, and mostly from America. So he said that this version is similar to ones he’s heard since coming to America, but as a child this was the story he was told by his mother. He said that this tale was pretty meaningful to him, because after his mom would tell it to him and his siblings, she would tell them how important family is and how they need to look after each other and help one another. UV took this to heart and said that he really connects with this piece because of that.
Context of the Performance: This story was told to me in my apartment while me and UV were hanging out and discussing some of our old favorite childhood memories and tales. This one in particular was a good one to hear because we both exchanged the same story, and it was cool to see how similar they were even across cultural and national boundaries.
Analysis: This iteration of the Three Little Pigs is very similar to the one I was told as a kid, but the added part of the wolf trying to climb through the chimney is interesting. Its adds another layer to the story and showcases the third pig’s cleverness even more, as he has to help the brothers one last time to get out of a bad situation. I believe the extra addition of this, seeks to emphasize an importance on cleverness and how important it is to protect your family against people who would try and do harm to them. In the American version, it is merely about resourcefulness and how building a strong foundation can withstand even the toughest of oppositions. And while the version that UV told me has that as well, I really think it leans more towards the importance of familial bonds and using your wits to help your family when they need you. This would be in direct correlation with what UV mentions in how important family is in Mexican culture, and I believe that this story seeks to point that out in a way that is easily accessible for children and adults.
For another version of this tale see:
Randall, Ronne, and Kasia Nowowiejska. The Three Little Pigs. Pat-a-Cake, an Imprint of Hachette Children’s