The first little piggy went to the market.
Why he did this is unclear. Country markets chiefly sell farm-produced fruit and vegetables, of which he would surely have had a ready supply. Pigs have little need of potted pickles, home-made jam, craft jewellery or scented candles, unless he was hoping that a few of the latter might improve the smell of the sty.
The second little piggy stayed at home, wallowing in the mud, presumably content with her lot. As happy as a pig in shit, in fact.
The third little piggy had roast beef. Favourite child.
“This little piggy got none”. There are no five sadder words in all of literature. The fourth little piggy is the animal kingdom’s Cinderella, watching on enviously while her siblings have all of the fun.
Or all of the terror. We are ignorant – pig ignorant – of what the fifth little piggy encountered, and while we can take some comfort from the fact that he did make it home, we can only imagine the dread that caused him to yell “wee, wee, wee” all the way there. What did he see? The wolf from the story about their three cousins? Zombies? A sausage factory?
Families. All so alike, yet all so different, with such different paths.