My Porcine Hero
In honor of today being National Pig Day (no, I’m not kidding, it really is National Pig Day), I’d like to pay homage to my childhood favorite, the Freddy the Pig book series by Walter R. Brooks. Brooks, born in Rome, New York, in 1886, wrote the short story “Ed Takes the Pledge,” on which the Mr. Ed TV series was based, but is probably best known for the the 26 books of the Freddy series, which he wrote between 1927 and his death in 1958.
Freddy was one of my favorite parts of childhood — I loved the Oz books, the Chronicles of Narnia, but no one was ever quite like Freddy. Freddy is a detective, a poet, a newspaper editor – there isn’t a thing to which Freddy won’t turn his hand to help a friend. He and his friends are charming, full of common sense, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Home is a farm in upstate New York where somehow things always seem to stay busy, but that doesn’t stop Freddy from making voyages to other parts of the world when he needs to.
As a result, Freddy has a passionately devoted following among groups like the Friends of Freddy, who are responsible for the fact that the entire series is now in print again after many years. (Many thanks to the Overlook Press.) As a kid, my visits to my grandparents in another state always involved a trip to the library to find Freddies that they didn’t have in our local libraries. As an adult, I’m happy to say I own almost the entire series, and reread them whenever I need a dose of sanity in this crazy adult world.
If, like me, you have an ongoing affection for children’s literature (or hey, if you have actual kids), you’ll find time with Freddy is always well-spent. If you need more convincing, here’s theNew York Times book review on the subject.
Happy National Pig Day. Snowball, eat your heart out.