Hello, Everyone. It's a beautiful day in the Lake District. I see Jemima Puddle-duck over there chatting with Pigling Bland. . . .
It looks like Pigling is telling Jemima about his adventure. If that is so, then she's probably going to be taking us out of Near Sawrey today along the road that dips south of Esthwaite Water past the signpost. . . .
Miss Potter painted it on one of her rambles with Mr. Heelis. . . .
As told by Jemima Puddle-duck
Pit pat, paddle pat! Pit pat, waddle pat! Quack! Quack! QUACK! Excuse me for the delay! Pigling Bland was telling me about how he met his new bride, Pig-wig. It all began when Miss Potter told his mother, (Miss Potter called her Aunt Pettitoes) that he and his 7 brothers and sisters, were not well brought up. . . .
They were getting into the garden, getting into the clean laundry, and various other mischiefs! Aunt Pettitoes agreed something must be done, so all but two were to be sent away. QUACK! Pigling Bland and Alexander were being sent to market. (Lest you worry, they are going to market to look for jobs.) Their mother said her goodbyes and told Pigling Bland, “Take your brother Alexander by the hand. Mind your Sunday clothes, and remember to blow your nose. Beware of traps, hen roosts, bacon and eggs; always walk upon your hind legs.” Then she gave them each a bundle and eight peppermints wrapped in paper with moral sentiments. . . .
Miss Potter warned them, “Observe sign-posts and milestones; do not gobble herring bones---and remember, if you once cross the county boundary you cannot come back.” She told Alexander, “You are not attending. Here are two licences permitting two pigs to go to market in Lancashire. Attend, Alexander. I have no end of trouble in getting these papers from the policeman.” Miss Potter pinned the papers to the inside of their waistcoat pockets. . . .
And so Pigling Bland and Alexander were off. . .
Quack! Here we are at the same crossroads Pigling Bland and Alexander came to. . . .
Now, where was I? Oh, yesh......Quack! They didn’t get very far when Alexander wanted to stop for lunch. He’d eaten all his peppermints already and asked for one of Pigling Bland’s. Quack! Pigling Bland said, "No." Then a most ungentlemanly tussle ensued, and the pig licenses came unpinned. . . .
They soon made up and were on their way again singing, “Tom, Tom, the piper’s son, stole a pig and away he ran!” That’s when the policemen heard them singing about stolen pigs and asked to see their licenses. Pigling Bland handed over his but Alexander handed over a peppermint wrapper. . . .
Pigling Bland watched as the policeman took Alexander back to the farm. . . .
He was sad to see his brother go. He came to another crossroads. The signs said, “To Market Town, 5 miles; Over the Hills, 4 miles; To Pettitoes Farm, 3 miles.” Pigling Bland wistfully looked in the direction of Over the Hills, but then dutifully headed for Market Town. What he really wanted was to have his own little garden and grow potatoes—not work on some strange farm. . . .
After a while he became lost. "I can’t find my way home!” he cried. Quack! Poor little Pigling Bland. After wandering for a long while he came across a little wooden hut. . . .
Inside he found six hens. He squeezed into a corner and fell asleep until he was awakened by a man you came to collect the hens. . . .
When he saw Pigling Bland he invited him to his house and fed him supper. . . .
The next morning the man took the hens to market. Pigling thought he should have asked for a ride to market, but he did not trust the man. While washing up his dishes from breakfast he began to sing, “Over the hills and far away!” when suddenly he heard a little voice joining in, “Over the hills and a great way off, The wind shall blow my top knot off!”. . . .
Pigling went to the locked cupboard and pushed a peppermint under the door. During the day he pushed the remaining peppermints under the door, but still there was no sound. When the man came home from market he told Pigling not to disturb him in the morning. . . .
The man had not shut the cupboard door properly and out came a little Berkshire girl pig while Pigling was eating his supper. . . .
Pig-wig introduced herself and told Pigling that she’d been stolen. . . .
The next morning they both made their escape before dawn. . . .
As the sun rose they stood on the moor watching it light up the hill tops. . . .
Pig-wig was so happy she danced a little jig. . . .
But soon a farmer in a wagon reading a newspaper came upon them. Pigling thought quickly and pretended to be lame. . . .
The farmer demanded to see their licenses. . . .
When he saw that the second license was for a boy pig named Alexander he told them to wait there while he went to speak to the ploughman in the field. He figured a lame pig could not run away. . . .
As soon as the farmer was far enough away, Pigling and Pig-wig started running. . .
They got to the bridge and crossed it to safety. . . .
Then they both danced over the hills and far away together!
The Tale of Pigling Bland was published in 1913 just before Beatrix's marriage to William Heelis. Some wondered if the story was about her and William Heelis since her life was about to change as much as Pigling's after meeting Pig-wig. Beatrix claimed that if she ever put William in a story the animal would have to be tall and thin, not a fat little pig. You can read more background information HERE. Beatrix and William were married on 15 October 1913 at St. Mary Abbots in Kensington. HERE is an article about it.
In 1971 a film was made of a ballet featuring Royal Ballet dancers depicting several Beatrix Potter stories. Here is Pigling's story. . . .
Jemima has taken me aside to point out I was remiss in including HER ballet performance when she told her story, so here it is. . . .
Rumer Godden was asked to document the filming of the ballet. The result was her book, "The Tale of Tales." She was not brought up on Beatrix Potter stories but her children were. She used Beatrix's books in talks and articles about children's literature, so was well-versed in all things Potter.
Peter Rabbit's Little Guide to Life shares the lesson learned from today's story. . . .
"Pigling Bland's mother wants her son to conduct himself with decorum and reflect his good breeding whilst on his journey. Anyone who has suffered an uncouth travelling companion will appreciate her wise list of instructions, though bacon and eggs cause less worry for humans than for plump little piglets."
Some of my practice drawings this month. . . .
This month I will be copying Beatrix's cover illustration....
My drawing. . . .
My watercolor. . . .
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