A Brainy Pig


As a change of pace, here’s a poem about a brainy pig, courtesy of Roald Dahl.



The Pig

by Roald Dahl

In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn’t read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn’t puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, “By gum, I’ve got the answer!”
“They want my bacon slice by slice
“To sell at a tremendous price!
“They want my tender juicy chops
“To put in all the butcher’s shops!
“They want my pork to make a roast
“And that’s the part’ll cost the most!
“They want my sausages in strings!
“They even want my chitterlings!
“The butcher’s shop! The carving knife!
“That is the reason for my life!”
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grizzly bit
So let’s not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
“I had a fairly powerful hunch
“That he might have me for his lunch.
“And so, because I feared the worst,
“I thought I’d better eat him first.”


Now, here are questions I had as I read this… Was the pig proactive?  Or merely paranoid?  He acted on his assumptions, but were his assumptions valid?  Had he blinded himself to the reality of his situation by dwelling on worst case scenarios?  Or was he correct that the reality of his life would lead him to the butcher shop?  Was everyone truly against him?  Or would his life have been something completely different and he just acted precipitously?  Did his big brain lead him astray?  Did his intelligence make him jump too soon?  Or did it save him?  And, most importantly, can he avert his fate at all? Does it matter that Farmer Bland is gone? Will Pig become a piggy version of Rambo, killing every farmer who comes his way?


And this, children, is why poetry is cool. Even the silliest poems can give you something to think about. Oh, wait! Does the poem mean we shouldn’t think? If I’m not thinking about a poem that tells me not to think, will I miss the message about not thinking?


brainy pig



  1. Where are the rest of the July posts? Ends in the first post in July?

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