When Pigs Fly


“When pigs
fly” is an adynaton, an absurd figure of speech to describe an action or
event that will never happen. But in literature, there are several examples of
pigs that take action or participate in events, and a few indeed fly.

real life in 2020, pigs are flying…on commercial airlines!

consequence of less people on flights is that airline companies are repurposing
their planes to take pigs around the globe. That’s right – the cargo bays of
jets are transporting more animals than ever before, especially hogs to China.
In addition to the flight crew, animal handlers are on board to monitor the
pigs’ temperaments and to fill the porcine sipper bottles. The only drawback,
according to handlers, is the distasteful aroma of even the cleanest and most
scrubbed-down porcine.

to the idea of pigs in literature, most western kids grow up reading or at
least hearing about The Three Little Pigs. In recent years, children may
have read The Three Little Javelinas, where the story is recast with
wild boars of the Southwestern US. They build their home using tumbleweed,
saguaro ribs, and adobe. A coyote huffs and puffs to blow the house down instead
of a wolf. And there’s The Three Ninja Pigs intended to take literary swine
to ninja fans. And in Today I Will Fly, Piggie is determined to fly.

the best example of pigs in literature is perhaps Animal Farm.

If George Orwell were writing Animal Farm
today, would he have Napoleon and Snowball argue about taking over the future
of aviation, placing pigs in the cockpit, having flight attendants take
alcoholic drinks to the passengers in first class? Would it be Mr. Jones who
would be in the cargo bay?

Orwell have the common animals in coach peering into first class and the
cockpit, and realize they could no longer differentiate the swine from the

Orwell aside, I can see Noah’s Ark becoming Noah’s Jet. Instead of embarking on
a boat, the giraffes, elephants, chipmunks, bears, antelopes, horses, birds,
and remaining critters could simply board a Boing 777 or an Airbus A330, and fly
off to higher ground until the flood waters recede.

I will never get on another jet without wondering if unpleasant odors will rise
from the cargo
bay. For that, I already have my mask ready!

Do you have your mask?


The Nikki Garcia Mystery Series  –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GZNF17G

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a
living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in
international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two
decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and
suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from
her Mexican background as well as her travels
in over ninety countries.


Book Credits:

The Three Little Pigs by Joseph Jacobs, first published on
June 19, 1890

The Three Little Javelinas by Susan
Lowell/Illustrated by

Jim Harris

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz/Illustrated by Dan Santat

Today I Will Fly by author/illustrator Mo Willems

Photo Credits:

Flying Pigs by BugMan50 – licensed
under CC BY-NC 2.0

Animal Farm book cover – Public

Flying Pig Mask – Public Domain

Kathryn’s books – designs by Bobbye

6 replies
  1. Mark Baker
    Mark Baker says:

    And there's Wilber in Charlotte's Web.

    Personally, I loved Today, I Will Fly. It was my introduction to Elephant and Piggie and Mo Willems in general.

    • Kathryn Lane
      Kathryn Lane says:

      Mark, you are so right about Charlotte's Web!! Thanks for reminding me.
      And yes, "Today, I Will Fly" was a favorite of mine!

  2. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    Thanks for this clever post. I must say I like the whimsical visual of flying pigs at the top better than my mental picture of hogs in the cargo bays of airplanes.

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