Monday, November 11, 2013

The Little Green Pig

Cultural origins: This is a story from a play about a storyteller, The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. This is the only story in the play really suitable for children. It has no ethnic ties, though all of McDonagh's other plays are tied to his Irish roots and take place in the Aran Islands. This play is meant to take place in any place or time in the future. It works well in a very generic fairytale setting, a farm.

Intended audience: Early Elementary School (5-8)

Why this audience?: This can be told as a bed time story. It’s incredibly soothing and quiet. It is appropriate for young students in elementary school because of the farm animals being the main characters and there is satisfying ending that keeps the little green pig just a little different than the rest of the pigs.

Characters: The Little Green Pig
                     The Little Pink Pigs
                     The Farmers
Scenes/Settings: The surrounding fields and trees of the little green pig’s farm.


“Once upon a time, on a farm in a strange land, far away there lived a little pig who was different from all the other pigs around because he was green. Like, almost glow-in-the dark-green like they have in the railway tunnels. Now, the little green pig, he really liked being green. Not that he didn’t like the color of normal pigs, he thought pink was nice too, but what he liked was, he liked being a little bit different, a little bit peculiar. The other pigs around him didn’t like him being green, though. They were jealous and they bullied him and made his like a misery.

 And all this complaining just aggravated the farmers, it really got on their nerves and so they thought, “Hmmm, we’d better do something about this.”

So one night, as all the pigs lay sleeping out in the open fields, they crept out and snatched up the little green pig and brought him back to the barn, and the little green pig was squealing and all the other pigs were just laughing at him. And when the farmers got him to the barn what they did was they opened up this big pot of this very special pink paint and they dunked him in it till he was covered from head to foot and not a patch of green was left, and they held him down until he dried.

And what was special about this pink paint was that it could never be washed off and never be painted over. It could never be washed off and never be painted over. And the little green pig said – “Oh please, God, please don’t let them make me like all the rest. I’m happy in being a little peculiar.”

But it was too late, the paint was dry, and the farmers sent him back out into the fields, and all the pink pigs laughed at him as he passed and sat down on his favorite little patch of grass, and he tried to understand why God hadn’t listened to his prayers, but he couldn’t understand, and he cried himself to sleep, and even all the thousand tears he cried couldn’t help wash off the horrible pink paint because it could never be washed off and never be painted over. It could never be washed off and never be painted over. And he went to sleep.

But that night, as all the pigs in the fields lay a-sleeping, these strange, strange storm clouds began to gather overhead and it began to rain, slowly at first but getting heavier and heavier and heavier. But this was no ordinary rain, this was a very special green rain, almost as thick as paint and not only that, there was something else special about it. It could never be washed off and it could never be painted. It could never be washed off and never be painted over.

And when morning came and the rain had stopped and all the pigs awoke, they found that every single one of them had turned bright green. Every single one except, of course, the old little green pig, who was now the little pink pig, upon whom the strange rain had washed right off because of the unpaintoverable paint the farmers had covered him in earlier. And as he looked at the strange sea of green pigs that lay around him, most of which were crying like babies, he smiled, and he thanked goodness, and he thanked God, because he knew that he was still, and he always would be, just a little bit peculiar.”

Story Climaxes/High Points:The night the little green pig is covered in the special pink paint and is crying because he is just like all the rest of the pigs a special rain comes to the farm. It is a special green rain. This rain can never be washed off and can never be painted over. It covers the little pink pigs so when morning comes they are all green.

Special Chants/Phrases:
It can never be washed off and never be painted over. (Every time said twice with a “wax on, wax off” motion)

Bibliographic Information:
McDonagh, M. (2003). Act 2 Scene 1. In The Pillowman (pp. 36-67). New York:
     Faber and Fabe