Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Adventures of Slut the Pig

How has there not yet been a children’s book written about Slut the Pig?


As illustrated in 1805 by John Landseer, father of the better known painter and sculptor Edwin Henry Landseer, Slut the Pig was a sort of real-life forerunner to Babe. Only instead of herding other animals, Slut helped her master kill other animals. And instead of winning a prize, she was slaughtered. Per the caption on the Flickr account that posted this image:
William Barker Daniel’s Rural Sports tells us that she was called Slut “in consequence of soiling herself in a Bog.” She lived wild but her “owner” taught her to act like a pointer dog and she accompanied him on his hunting expeditions and would point and retrieve as well as a dog. Slut was slaughtered when she was ten years old, which Daniel said was “animal murder.”
Slut’s story is recounted in William Barker Daniel’s Rural Sports, Vol. Three.

The word slut, by the way, has never really meant implied outright filthiness so much as slovenliness, more metaphorical then literal. These, I feel, are distinctions children should be learning through literature.

“Now That’s Interesting,” previously:

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