Saturday, October 11, 2008


My husband and I stayed in bed late this morning. We could hear the kids playing (making a mess) in their bedrooms. While the boys set up their train tracks, my five-year-old daughter was "pretending" to read a book and we heard her say, "Then we killed him and ate him up."

"What in the world is she reading?" I asked my husband. He climbed out of our warm, snugly bed to find out.

Charlotte's Web.

She was reading Charlotte's Web and had killed and eaten Wilbur, the pig. Yes, we enjoy ham and pork chops and especially bacon (there are not many foods that the addition of bacon can't improve) but really this was disturbing. We've read the book. We've watched the movie (lots of times). How could she eat Wilbur? He's cute and sweet and does back flips.

It reminded me of a story that my parents tell from my childhood. My brother and I were still very young and as a family we raised a little pig named Homer. He was pink and cute and we loved him. There's really only one reason for raising a pig and when Homer got big enough he met his fate.

My parents decided to break the news to us one night at dinner. Very gently, the informed my brother and I that pigs were meant to be eaten and that night we were eating our pig. To their surprise and horror, we weren't sad. In fact, we were delighted and spent the rest of the meal singing to each other, "We're eating Homer!" We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, but I don't think my parents were able to eat a bite.

I suppose, children just know--pigs are for eating. Oh, and consider adding bacon to your potato salad next summer. It's always a hit around here.

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