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Cherry Creek superintendent writes to parents: "We feel a sense of urgency to speak and to act. Black lives depend on it. Black lives matter." He recommends resources including "Raising Race Conscious Children," which has lessons like this:

April 19, 2016 · by Raising Race Conscious Children · in Babies, Class, Early Childhood, Elementary School, Sachi Feris, STRATEGY: CHALLENGE STEREOTYPES, STRATEGY: FAIRNESS/UNFAIRNESS, STRATEGY: SPEAK TO IMAGES/WORDS, Toddlers, White Privilege
once upon a timeby Sachi Feris

While I was in Argentina recently, I found a pop-up version of “The Three Little Pigs” in Spanish, which I purchased and quickly became one of my son’s favorite books. After about 100 readings, literally, it occurred to me that I should change the narrative of the two “lazy” pigs who learned that they had to “work hard” if they wanted to “succeed” like the third little pig.

In doing some googling for an alternative (social justice) narrative of “The Three Little Pigs,” I first went to my go-to source for all social justice curriculum, Rethinking Schools, and found a relevant article in Rethinking Our Classrooms, Volume One, a book that hugely influenced me as a new teacher. Author Ellen Wolpert challenges the hidden messages in “The Three Little Pigs,” writing:

“One of the most fundamental messages of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is that it belittles straw and stick homes and the ‘lazy types’ who build them…is there any coincidence that brick homes tend to be built by people in Western countries, often by those with more money? That straw homes are more common in non-Europeans cultures, particularly Africa and Asia?”

In addition, I found a blog post by an Australian parent who notes: “I was reading ‘The Three Little Pigs’ to my son, and I realized how young we begin indoctrinating our children to associate poverty with foolishness.”

I did not, however, find an actual alternative version of the story that suited my needs—therefore, what follows is my version of the story: “The Third Little Pig.”

(Any illustrators out there who might like to create some simple drawing to accompany this version of the story, please contact me!)

The Third Little Pig

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who had been neighbors all their lives. One day, when the three little pigs had grown up into bigger pigs, it was time for them to go explore the world and live on their own.

The first little pig had been raised by his grandmother who gave him all the love and care in the world, but when it was time to go off on his own, she had nothing more to give him.

The second little pig had been raised by his mother who gave her all the love and care in the world, and a little bit of money that she had saved up for when it was time for her pig to go off and live on her own.

The third little pig had been raised by his father who also gave him all the love and care in the world, along with a piece of gold to help his pig when it was time for him to go off on his own.

The first little pig, not having any money, found some straw and built a pretty little house, and was proud of himself for having been able to build it all on his own.

The second little pig used the coins from her mother to buy some branches—but she didn’t have enough money to buy all the branches she needed—so she decided she would find a job to earn more money so she could finish her house at some point in the future.

The third little pig used a portion of his piece of gold to buy all the bricks he needed—and was able to build a beautiful and solid house. Inside his house, in a secret hiding place, he hid the remaining piece of his gold.

One day, a wolf came sniffing his way along, hungry as anything. He spied the three pigs playing in the forest and his stomach rumbled. Tonight, the wolf told himself, I am going to eat one of those pigs for dinner.

So the wolf knocked on the door of the first little pig in the house made of straw and said, “Little pig, little pig, let me in!”

“Not for all the gold in the world!” cried the first little pig.

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”

And he did.

The first little pig ran as fast as his four little legs would carry him to the home of his neighbor and friend, the second little pig, who lived in the house made of branches.

The wolf ran after the first little pig who slammed the door of the second little pig’s house in the wolf’s face.

The two little pigs trembled with fear when the wolf knocked on the second little pig’s door and said, “Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!”

“Not for all the gold in the world!” cried the first and second little pigs.

“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”

And he did.

The first and second little pigs ran as fast as they had ever run and managed to escape to the home of their neighbor and friend, the third little pig.

The first two little pigs were really very frightened but the third little pig reassured his friends, “Don’t worry, even a wolf can’t blow down a house made of brick.”

The wolf once again knocked on the door and when the pigs didn’t open it, he began to huff and puff and huff and puff, but just like the third little pig predicted, even a wolf couldn’t blow down the third little pig’s solid, brick home.

The wolf ran away crying, still hungry and eager to find something else to eat for dinner.

The third little pig went to his bedroom, uncovered the remaining piece of gold from its secret hiding place, and returned to his two pig friends.

“My father told me to save this gold for myself. But I already built myself a solid, brick house, and have enough food to put on my table, and what do I need with all the gold in the world if another wolf happens to come along and take my two friends away from me?”

The third little pig found his hammer and put the gold piece on the floor. With a huge whack, he split the gold piece into two and he gave one to each of his friends. “Now you can build a house of brick, too,” he told them. “Sorry, I should have done this all along.”

The third little pig had learned his lesson and the three little pigs learned happily ever after.



Submitted: Apr 20, 2021