Study Guide

A Day No Pigs Would Die Chapter 3

By Robert Newton Peck

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Chapter 3

  • After spending a week in bed recovering from his close encounter with the cow, Rob gets up just in time to help his father fix the fence that separates their farm from Mr. Tanner's property.
  • Working on the fence makes Rob get all philosophical, and he and his father talk about the value of fences and what makes a good neighbor.
  • While they're talking, along comes their neighbor Mr. Tanner, with Apron (all cleaned up and fresh as a daisy) and two calves. Apron had twins!
  • To thank Rob for his help with the birth, Mr. Tanner gives him a piglet, producing it from under his coat like a magic trick.
  • At first, Papa doesn't want to accept the gift, saying that it's not the Shaker way to expect payment for being a good neighbor. Mr. Tanner, though, ultimately convinces him to let Rob accept the pig.
  • Rob is overjoyed. After all, doesn't every boy long for a little pet pig to call his own? Oh, uh… wait.
  • Well, anyway, Rob is overjoyed.
  • He decides to call the pig Pinky, and he looks forward to the day when she'll give birth to piglets of her own.
  • Rob and his Papa talk about making a pen for Pinky, somewhere away from Daisy (their cow) and Solomon (their bull).
  • According to Papa, cows and pigs can't be kept together or the cow's milk will curdle.
  • This kind of knowledge goes way back, says Papa. He calls it "earthy reason" (3.81), and it's something that "modern townfolk don't care a lick for" (3.79).

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