Aug 24, 2007

The Good Good Pig

by Sy Montgomery

Christopher Hogwood was the smallest of the runts. But he was so endearingly cute and plucky that his owners couldn't bring themselves to kill him. (Remind anyone of Charlotte's Web?) So Sy Montgomery and her husband Howard adopted the little pink-and-black pig and took him home.

Unlike most pigs who are raised for their pork, Christopher Hogwood was granted life just for the sake of living. Montgomery wanted to see how long a pig could live, and did everything she could to keep him healthy and happy. A lifelong naturalist with a deep love and connection to animals, she found herself enjoying his company and tending to his every need and sensitivity. The pig returned the favor. In ways simple and surprising, he brought neighbors, local children and people from the community at large into her circle of friends.

If you want to know anything about pigs, or how they can be so appealing, The Good Good Pig is a great read. It is full of lore about pigs in art, hogs in history, wild swine in nature. Pigs and their place in different cultures around the world. Montgomery explores possibilities about why pork is forbidden to Jews and Muslims, yet other cultures seem to venerate the pig. Examples of their intelligence are abundant.

As well as pigs, a flock of hens with lots of spunk and good sense and a troubled border collie named Tess live between these pages. Together they and Christopher Hogwood make Sy Montgomery's home a little bit of animal heaven on earth.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 228 pages, 2006

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