The Three Little Pigs was my favorite story growing up. When I was in first grade and wouldn’t eat my dinner, my mom would bribe. She would tell me that if I ate, then she would tell me the tale of the Three Little Pigs.
It seems that this tale is told differently in every country and even in every family. The little pigs’ names in my mother’s Russian tale were Noof-Noof, Neef-Neef, and Nuf-Nuf. After the Big Bad Wolf (or in Russian, Scary Gray Wolf) successfully blew down two of the pigs’ houses, Noof-Noof and Neef-Neef ran to Nuf-Nuf’s house to seek shelter and safety. So, in the Russian story, Nuf-Nuf is the smart pig.
I’ve also noticed that this tale ends differently in different versions. For some, in an attempt to finally get to the pigs, the wolf falls through the chimney and burns to death in the boiling pot. That is a most tragic and depressing ending! I don’t like that one. In other versions he burns his tail, runs back up the chimney, flees into the forest, and never comes back. I’m kind of a sensitive soul, and this ending has also always saddened me, because then the wolf is just lonely, with no friends, hungry, and with an injured tail. Very sad!
Seeing that neither of these endings satisfies my liking, I could come up with my own version of the ending. We could tell it this way: The wolf falls down through the chimney, burns his tail, feels really bad for what he’s done, and asks the Three Little Pigs for forgiveness. So, they pull him out of the fireplace, treat his tail, and the best part – he begins to live with them as their housekeeper. Here. Everyone is happy, and nobody is dead. I prefer happy endings.
However this “happy ending” might just rob this story of its important message. Along with many different endings, there are also many different interpretations to this story. The way I’ve always seen the meaning of this tale is that the pigs’ houses are similar to our own homes, families, and even to us. The Big Bad Wolf, spiritually speaking, is the enemy that brings challenges, temptations, and trouble into our lives. He constantly threatens to hurt us and our families. Many times he pretends to be harmless. He disguises himself so well that often we don’t always realize what kind of danger is knocking at our door.
The Big Bad Wolf can be many things. He can represent media, addictions, pornography, negativity–really anything that poses a threat to us as individuals and families, you name it. And in the end, when he blows your house down and has you at your weakest point, he hopes to just devour you.
As much as I like happy endings, and as bad as I feel for that wolf in the tale of The Three Little Pigs, I wouldn’t recommend letting the Big Bad Wolf, in any form, into your home and allowing him to live with you. He is too dangerous. Whatever he represents to you or your family, build a home of strong brick, let that wolf burn his tail, and pray that he runs away as far as he possibly can. Then make the Savior feel welcome in your home. Do invite Him in through obedience, prayer, fasting, scripture study, and love. Ask the Spirit of the Lord to come in and fill your home and keep that bad old wolf away!