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Creature Feature: Some Pig!

The leftovers of an ’80s-era pet fad, potbellied pigs are still around—and may end up needing your care

In the humble form of the pig can be found the perfect embodiment of humanity’s dichotomous relationship with animals—love them, or eat them? How many of us grew up eating bacon and relishing our ham sandwiches? How many of us started wondering why when we first saw Babe, or read Charlotte’s Web?

E.B. White’s classic book opens with one of the most suspenseful lines ever to lead a novel: “‘Where’s Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.”

The farm girl’s subsequent intervention on behalf of the runt of the litter turns out to be only the first required to save the life of the little pig. Once Wilbur attains his full weight, he’s expected to pursue the destiny of other farm swine: becoming Christmas dinner. It takes the PR campaign of a small gray spider—which she conducts via ad slogans woven into her webs, promoting Wilbur as “Radiant” and “Some Pig”—for the local humans to get the message and spare Wilbur permanently.

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