Piglet Pride

The Nine Tiny Piglets are never especially important characters, but they do receive a some attention in the Oz books. They first appear in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz as animals the Wizard uses in his tricks. He claims that they come from the Island of Teenty-Weent, where everything is small. Eureka the kitten has an odd relationship with them, playing with them on occasion but also mentioning that she’d like to eat one. When the Wizard arrives in the Emerald City, he gives one of the piglets to Ozma as a pet, and Eureka gets in trouble when she tries to eat this piglet.

The piglets don’t do a whole lot in other books, but they are mentioned a few times, with a song from the Shaggy Man in Patchwork Girl indicating that they live in a golden pen.

The next major development with the piglets is actually a contradiction of sorts. In Tin Woodman, Nick Chopper and his companions come across the home of two pigs near the foot of Mount Munch. One is Grunter Swyne, Professor of Cabbage Culture and Corn Perfection, and the other his wife Squealina. Both of them wear some clothing, Squealina a sunbonnet and the Professor a hat and glasses. They are basically friendly, but suspicious of visitors whom they fear might be butchers. Anyway, the two claim to be the parents of the Nine Tiny Piglets, whom they gave to the Wizard so he could care for and educate them. If he obtained the piglets in Oz, however, how does Teenty-Weent enter into it? Some fan theories have it that Teenty-Weent is in Oz, or that the entire Swyne family was staying on the island before relocating to Oz. I tend to prefer the explanation that the Wizard just made up Teenty-Weent, since he is a stage magician used to patter. This presumably means that he took the piglets while in Oz for the first time, and took them back to the United States with him. If this was the case, though, it means very little time must have passed between his return to Omaha and his journey back to Oz in the company of Dorothy, or the piglets wouldn’t have remained so tiny. Or maybe Ozian animals that visit the Outside World still don’t age while there. It’s hard to say.

L. Frank Baum never names any of the piglets, but I know of a few fan-written stories that do so, and not surprisingly none of them agree on the names. In Gili Bar-Hillel’s “Pigmentation,” Ozma’s pet is named Peggy, and two of the others are Percival and Paul. Hugh Pendexter’s Crocheted Cat only names Ozma’s pet, giving her the name Freida. Kimberly Doyle’s “Nine Tiny Piglets” gives names to all nine: Porkella, Sausagina, Bologna, Sal Amy, Weinerina, Hamilton, Lincoln, Francis, and Roger. In this story, Lincoln is Ozma’s pet. I have to say I have trouble buying these names, because why would Grunter and Squealina name their piglets after pork products? It would be like Billina naming one of her chicks Roaster or McNugget. Finally, in Glenn Ingersoll’s “The Piglets’ Revenge,” Ozma’s pet is Winken (a male piglet), and others are named Squella, Sinken, Twinx, Bess, Winny, Phren, Wally, and Tina.

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7 Responses to Piglet Pride

  1. Anthony Will says:

    They should get the Tiny Piglets together with the shrunken down performing monkeys from “Magic” and put on a show!! Actually, I can’t remember whether the Wizard returns the monkeys to their original size at the end.

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