Monday, October 22, 2007

Lewis Carroll's "The Pig-Tale"

California State University Long Beach has an outstanding children's literature collection, where I've been going through lots and lots of pig-related books. One pleasant surprise was the discovery of Leonard B. Lubin's 1975 adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "The Pig-Tale," which originally appeared in Sylvie and Bruno (full text here) in 1889. It concerns a pig who is grief-stricken because he cannot jump. A frog comes by and offers to teach the pig how to jump for a fee. The frog jumps easily onto an old water pump, and urges the pig to "bend your knees and take a hop." The result:

Uprose that Pig, and rushed, full whack,
Against the ruined Pump:
Rolled over like an empty sack,
And settled down upon his back,
While all his bones at once went 'Crack!'
It was a fatal jump.

The Frog winds up in a dismal mood, of course, because he would never get his fee.

Lubin's illustrations are quite charming, with the animals in formal Victorian-era costumes. The story of the pig is interspersed with verses about little birds, also nicely illustrated, if perhaps a bit too surreal and fantastic for some. I couldn't find any examples of Lubin's work on "The Pig-Tale," so y'all get an image of Lewis Carroll instead. Sorry.

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Blogger d said...

this is why you need a scanner, dude...

that book sounds great -- audrey would dig it, since "giggies" seem to be among her three or four favorite animals....

10:27 PM  

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