In the Chinese Zodiac, pigs represent luck, good fortune, prosperity and indulgence.
Thinking about pigs, I couldn’t help but consider the many “literary” pigs I know. There are the men transformed into pigs by Circe in Homer’s Odyssey, and the Calydonian Boar in Greek mythology. And who can forget Animal Farm, George Orwell’s Napoleon leading the animal revolution against the farmer as well as one of the crescendo scenes in Lord of the Flies by William Golding?
There are of course the children’s pigs I got to know when my children were small like Beatrix Potter’s Aunt Pettitoes, Holly Hobbie’s Toot & Puddle, Mr. Frumble by Richard Scarry, and AA Milne’s Piglet, Winnie the Pooh’s best friend – often timid yet striving to be brave. There is Wilbur in EB White’s Charlotte’s Web, saved by the spider, Charlotte, weaving fantastical words in her web. Shared recently by a friend in my book group is this quote, reminding us to lift up one another: “A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” ― E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web.
Which brings me to a final thought of the day about kindness. This week, NYT columnist David Brooks wrote an article entitled Kindness Is a Skill. Worth a read, I think…. Wishing you a joyous new year and Happy Year of the Pig!