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A Day No Pigs Would Die
by Robert Newton Peck
Rob Peck Timeline and Summary
The first time we see Rob, he's playing hooky from school, helping a cow give birth, and having his arm almost broken by that same cow. Yowza. Once he's recovered, Rob is given a piglet by his neighbor Mr. Tanner. He names her Pinky, and Rob and Pinky spend a lot of time playing. It's pretty cute. When school lets out for the summer, Rob is briefly tutored in English by his Aunt Matty. He survives—but barely. After a few more adventures, Rob is invited to go to the fair with Mr. Tanner. At the fair, he helps Mr. Tanner show his calves, spends ten cents on a bar of soap, and throws up all over the judge's shoes. Not the best day, but hey, Pinky wins a blue ribbon. The day after returning from the fair, Rob helps Papa "weasel" a terrier pup. Both the weasel and the terrier die in the encounter. Papa tells Rob that he thinks Pinky may be barren. And as a double whammy, Papa suspects he himself may soon die. Mr. Tanner brings his boar Samson over to try to breed him with Pinky. Although Pinky really isn't interested, Samson mates with her anyway. But Pinky still doesn't have any piglets. One day in December, with money getting low, Papa and Rob butcher Pinky so the family will have something to eat over the winter. The family makes it through the winter, but Papa dies in the spring. Rob, having become a man (that's a thing in the book), takes over as man of the family and sees to the funeral details. He says goodbye to Papa and walks away from the grave, ready to do what needs to be done to keep his family going.