Column Date 2011-04-07

The three little pigs

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.


And their mother sent them out into the world to find their way.


The first little pig became a real estate developer.


He built thousands and thousands of houses of straw, and encouraged other little pigs to move into them.


“Anyone can afford their own straw house here in my ‘Straw-berry Fields’ development,” he told the pigs. “I’ll even get you an adjustable rate mortgage for 100% of the price. And there’s no risk,” he said, “your straw house can only go up in value.”


When the wolf came, as he inevitably does, he blew all the straw houses down in thirty seconds flat and ate the first little pig. The pig’s mortgage was classified as “AAA” and sold as part of a package to a group of pigs who ran a bank in England.


The second little pig went into the pharmaceutical business and, anxious to keep a low profile, built a simple but elegant house out of sticks.


His company, ‘Pig-Pharma,’ convinced millions of people they had diseases that never existed before – and only his new, patented pills would cure them.


Eventually his patents ran out, and he wondered whether he had amassed enough money to do his patriotic duty and go into politics. Or perhaps donate enough to a political party to become an ambassador to some important country.


When the wolf came, as he inevitably does, he blew down the house made of sticks and ate the second little pig.


The third little pig became a hedge fund manager on Wall Street.


With last year’s bonus, he bought a 25,000 square foot house made of brick. In a gated community. With a state-of-the-art alarm system.


When the wolf came, as he inevitably does, he was stopped at the gate.


“Where you going, man?” asked the illegal immigrant guard, suspiciously.


“I’m just doing what wolves are meant to do,” said the wolf. “Looking for that third little pig to eat.”


“No problem. Try the first brick house on the left,” yawned the guard, who went back to sleep, this being his third job of the day.


The wolf, of course, huffed and puffed, but could not blow the brick house down.


So he rang the bell, said he was an investigator from the Treasury Department, and when the third little pig and his attorney opened the door, he ate them both.


The moral (since these stories always seem to have one):


Pigs will be pigs.


And the wolf will come, as he inevitably does.



(c) 2011 Peter Tannen






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