There once were three little pigs. All summer long they roamed through the woods and over the plains, playing games and having fun. They were happy, easily made friends, and were always given a hearty welcome. But as summer drew to a close, they saw all others were drifting back to their usual jobs, preparing for winter.
Autumn came and it began to rain. The three little pigs started to feel they needed a real home. Much of the fun was over now, and they must set to work, they too, and get a roof over their heads. They talked about what to do, but each decided for himself. The laziest little pig said he'd build a straw hut.
"It will only take a day," he said.
The others disagreed. "It's too fragile," they said disapprovingly, but he refused to listen.
Not quite so careless, the second little pig went in search of planks of seasoned wood. "Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!" It took him two days to nail them together.
But the third little pig did not like the wooden house. "That's not the way to build a house!" he said. "It takes time, patience and hard work to build a house that is strong enough to stand up to wind, rain, and snow, and most of all, protect us from the wolf roaming in the forest out there, ready to transgress against our welfare."
The days went by, and the wisest little pig's house took shape, brick by brick. From time to time his brothers visited him, saying with a chuckle:
"Why are you working so hard on yourself? Won't you come and play?"
But the bricklaying pig just said, "No, I shall finish my house first. It must be solid and sturdy. And then I'll come and play!" he said.
It was the wisest little pig that found the tracks of a big wolf in the neighbourhood. The little pigs rushed home in alarm. Along came the wolf, scowling fiercely at the laziest pig's straw hut.
"Come out and do as I say!" ordered the wolf, his mouth watering. I want to speak to you all!"
"I'd rather stay where I am!" replied the little pig in a tiny voice.
"Then I'll make you come out!" growled the wolf angrily, and puffing out his chest, he took a very deep breath. Then he blew with all his might, right onto the house. All the straw the little pig had heaped against some thin poles, fell down in the great blast.
Excited by his own success, the wolf did not notice that the little pig had slithered out from underneath the heap of straw, and was dashing towards his brother's wooden house. When he realised that the little pig was escaping, the wolf grew wild with rage.
"Come back!" he roared, trying to catch the pig as he ran into the wooden house.
The other little pig greeted his brother, shaking like a leaf.
"I hope this house won't fall down! Let's lean against the door so he cannot break in!"
Outside, the wolf could hear the little pigs' words. Starving as he was, at the idea of a two-course meal, he rained blows on the door.
"Open up! Open up! I want to speak to you!"
Inside, the two brothers wept in fear and did their best to hold the door fast against the blows. Then the furious wolf braced himself to a new effort: he drew in a really giant breath, and went . . . WHOOOOO!
The wooden house collapsed like a pack of cards. Luckily, the wisest little pig had been watching the scene from the window of his own brick house, and he quickly opened the door to his fleeing brothers and closed it firmly behind them. And not a moment too soon, for the wolf was already hammering furiously on the door.
This time, the wolf had grave doubts. This house looked much more solid than the others. He blew once, he blew again and then for a third time. But all was in vain. For the house did not budge an inch. The three little pigs watched him and their fear began to fade.
Quite exhausted by his efforts, the wolf decided to try one of his tricks. He scrambled up a nearby ladder, on to the roof to have a look at the chimney. However, the wisest little pig had seen what happened, and he quickly said:
"Quick now! Light the fire!"
With his legs thrust down the chimney, the wolf was not sure if he should slide down the black hole. It wouldn't be easy to get in, but the sound of the little pigs' voices below only made him feel hungrier.
"I am dying of hunger! I am going to try and get down."
And so he let himself drop. But landing was too hot! The wolf landed in the fire, stunned by his fall. The flames licked his hairy coat and his tail became a flaring torch.
"Never again! Never again will I go down a chimney!" he squealed, as he tried to put out the flames in his tail. Then he ran away as fast as he could. The three happy little pigs, dancing round and round the yard, began to sing:
"Tra-la-la! Tra-la-la! The wicked wolf will never come back!"
From that terrible day on, the wisest little pig's brothers set to work with a will. In less than no time, up went the two new brick houses. The wolf did return once to roam in the neighbourhood, but when he caught sight of three chimneys, he remembered the terrible pain of his burnt tail, and left for good.
Now safe and happy, the wisest little pig called to his brothers:
"No more work! Come on, let's go and play!"
ATU 124, Blowing the House In.
Once on a time there was an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy. One morning the old woman made a Johnny-cake, and put it in the oven to bake.
"Watch the Johnny-cake while your father and I go out to work in the garden," she said to the little boy. Then the old man and the old woman went out and began to hoe potatoes and left the boy to tend the oven.
But he didn't watch it all the time, and all of a sudden he heard a noise. He looked up and saw the oven door popped open. Out of the oven jumped Johnny-cake and went rolling along end over end towards the open door of the house.
The little boy ran to shut the door, but Johnny-cake was too quick for him and rolled through the door, down the steps, and out into the road long before the little boy could catch him.
The little boy ran after him as fast as he could, crying out to his father and mother. They heard the uproar and threw down their hoes and gave chase too.
But Johnny-cake outran all three a long way, and was soon out of sight, while they had to sit down, all out of breath, on a bank to rest.
On went Johnny-cake, and before long he came to two well-diggers who looked up from their work and called out: "Where are you going, Johnny-cake?"
He said, "I've outrun an old man, and an old woman and a little boy, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"
"You can, can you? We'll see about that?" they said, and threw down their picks and ran after him. But they could not catch up with him, and soon they had to sit down by the roadside to rest.
On ran Johnny-cake, and soon he came to two ditch-diggers who were digging a ditch. "Where are you going, Johnny-cake?" said they. He said, "I have outrun an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy and two well-diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"
"You can, can you? We'll see about that!" they said, and threw down their spades and ran after him too. But Johnny-cake soon outstripped them also, and when they saw they could never catch him, they gave up the chase and sat down to rest.
On went Johnny-cake, and soon he came to a bear. The bear said, "Where are you going, Johnny-cake?"
He said, "I've outrun an old man, and an old woman and a little boy, two well-diggers and two ditch-diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"
"You can, can you?" growled the bear. "We'll see about that!" and trotted as fast as his legs could carry him after Johnny-cake, who never stopped to look behind him. Before long the bear was left so far behind that he saw he might as well give up the hunt first as last, so he stretched himself out by the roadside to rest.
On went Johnny-cake, and by-and-by he came to a wolf. The wolf said, "Where are you going, Johnny-cake?"
He said, "I've outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well-diggers, two ditch-diggers and a bear, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"
"You can, can you?" snarled the wolf. "We'll see about that!" And he set into a gallop after Johnny-cake, who went on and on so fast that the wolf too saw there was no hope of overtaking him, and he too lay down to rest.
On went Johnny-cake, and soon he came to a fox that lay quietly in a corner of the fence. The fox called out in a sharp voice without getting up: "Where are you going Johnny-cake?"
He said, "I've outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well-diggers, two ditch-diggers, a bear and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"
The fox said, "I can't quite hear you, Johnny-cake, won't you come a little closer?" turning his head a little to one side.
Johnny-cake stopped his race for the first time, and went a little closer, and called out in a very loud voice, "I've outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well-diggers, two ditch-diggers, a bear and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o- o."
"Can't quite hear you; won't you come a little closer?" said the fox in a feeble voice, as he stretched out his neck towards Johnny-cake, and put one paw behind his ear.
Johnny-cake came up close, and leaning towards the fox screamed out, "I'VE OUTRUN AN OLD MAN, AN OLD WOMAN, A LITTLE BOY, TWO WELL-DIGGERS, TWO DITCH-DIGGERS, A BEAR AND A WOLF, AND I CAN OUTRUN YOU TOO-O-O!"
"You can, can you?" yelped the fox, and he snapped up the Johnny-cake in his sharp teeth in the twinkling of an eye.
[AT 2025. In Johnson 1905:1-8. Compare also The Wee Bannoch" from Scotland and a Norwegian Pancake tale]