The 0th Little Pig

The 0th Little Pig

Michael A. Heroux

“Little pig, little pig, let me come in…” by Margaret

You have probably heard the story of Three Little Pigs, a cautionary lesson in under-planning, underinvesting and apparent laziness. The star of the story is the third little pig who invests sufficient time, expense and effort to build the brick house needed to protect itself from the big bad wolf. While this tale is excellent at teaching the virtues of adequate planning, investment and effort, it omits the story of the zeroth little pig (ZLP).

ZLP was another of the pig siblings, known for detailed planning, sparing no cost, and putting in long workdays in making sure that all was perfect. ZLP also left home with its siblings, to make its own way in the world.

Like its siblings, ZLP started building its new home. It first planned its fortress in great detail, making sure it would be impenetrable. It then went into the city to find the right materials, acquiring only the best. Finally, it started building, hiring a top construction crew to help. As construction proceeded, ZLP learned a clever new way to improve its house, even though the changes required re-planning that made its existing detailed plans obsolete. Furthermore, parts of the home needed to be torn down to accommodate the improvements.

After adjusting plans and rebuilding torn down parts, ZLP became unhappy with the quality of some work, asking the construction crew to redo it to perfection. Obviously, the re-planning and re-work put construction behind schedule. During construction ZLP slept in a hammock under a partial roof next to the fireplace.

As we know, the big bad wolf eventually heard of the three little pigs (pigs 0, 1, 2 and 3) and that they had recently left their mother’s home to make their own way in the world. We know of the straw and stick houses, and how they were inadequate, and how the brick house was completed on time and provided adequate protection against the wolf.

Behind schedule, tired from many hours of work, and cold because it had no funds to purchase firewood, ZLP slept in its hammock beneath the unfinished roof, unaware that the big bad wolf had arrived.