The Little Lost Pigs by Helen Fuller Orton, 1927 Illustrated by Luxor Price

Rosaline and Piggy Joe were two little pigs who lived in Farmer Gray's pigpen. They did not live there all alone. If they had, they might have been content to stay there safe and happy. Two other pigs, two greedy pigs named Snowball and Blackie, lived in the pen with them.

Three times a day Farmer Gray brought a pail of skim-milk and poured it into their trough. Three times a day the four little pigs ran to the trough to drink. But as soon the farmer had gone, Snowball and Blackie pushed Rosaline and Piggy Joe away and drank the milk all up. So Rosaline and Piggy Joe did not have enough to eat. That is why they were so small. And that is why they were so discontented.

And that is why piggy Joe said to Rosaline one morning, "I shall not stay here any longer. I shall go out into the Big World all by myself"

"Don't," pleaded Rosaline. "You might come to harm in the Big World".

But Piggy Joe began to look along the fence and to poke his nose under it here and there. Before long he found a place big enough to squeeze through; he was soon outside the pen.

"Oh, Joey, where are you going?" cried Rosaline.

"I'm going a-travelling" answered Piggy Joe.

So the littlest pig of all went out alone into the Big, Big World.

He ran up the path toward the farm-yard. Near the wood pile he found a plate of potato and milk gravy which had been put there for the cats. And he ate it all up. Near the back door he found a basin of fresh milk and three kittens eating out of it. Piggy Joe scared the kittens away. And he drank all the milk. Just then, Molly, the farmer's daughter came to the door.
"You naughty little pig!" she exclaimed. "Go off! Go off!"

Piggy Joe ran back down the path. Now it happened that little Benny Gray was carrying a little pail of water from the pump to the house. Piggy Joe ran against the pail, which tipped and gave him a good ducking. As he scampered away, he ran into a rosebush. The thorns pricked him so that he went scampering off again.
"Isn't there any corner in the Big World that is safe and pleasant?" he wondered.

It was then that he spied a bed of Marigolds, all full of gay blossoms. Right into that flower bed went Piggy Joe. He ran round it and he rooted in it and he rolled in it. Then he lay down in the very middle of it and he took a nap. "Isn't this nice?" thought Piggy Joe, when he woke up. "I shall come here every day". He was starting back to the pen, when a big gander spied him. The gander flapped his big wings and chased Piggy Joe who ran towards the hole in the fence. He couldn't find it at first and he ran along looking for it.
"Here is the place", said Rosaline from inside the pen. Piggy Joe wriggled through just in time.
"What is the matter?" asked Snowball.
"I was chased by a giant", said Piggy Joe, when he could get his breath.
"We thought you'd come to harm," said Snowball and Blackie.

"Joey," said Rosaline, " tell me all about it". "A wonderful place the Big World is," said Piggy Joe. "Basins of fresh milk on the ground! Gay flower beds to lie in!" "But home is safest," said Rosaline

The next day, three little pigs took a nap after their noonday meal. They all took a nap except Piggy Joe. He couldn't go to sleep, for  he kept thinking of his adventure yesterday. Soon he turned to Rosaline and whispered,
“Rosa, Rosa, wake up, I'm going a-travelling again. Don't you want to come with me?"  Rosaline opened her eyes. Basins of fresh milk on the ground, Gay flower beds to lie in," urged Piggy Joe.
"But the giant might get us," said  Rosaline. Just then the geese went by on their way to the pond to swim.
"The giant has gone away," Said Piggy Joe.
"You go first, I'll follow," said Rosaline. They quickly squeezed under the fence and, in a moment more, two happy little pigs were trotting up the path together.
When they passed the rabbit pen, they stopped to look at bunnies.
"My! What grand ears they have!" said Rosaline .
"This is just what I think, "said Piggy Joe. They ran on along the path and came to a pan of skim-milk."Skim-milk! Skim milk!" squealed the little pigs. And they drink it all up.

Next they came to the marigold bed. Benny Gray saw them.
"Shoo! Scat! Go off!" he shouted. He came running towards them waving his straw hat as he ran.
"If no one wants us, lets go off all by ourselves," said Rosaline, as they ran out of the yard.
"Lets never go back", said Joey.
"Never," agreed Rosaline.

But they didn't run far that time, for they met Farmer Smith coming along the road.
"Why! What are Neighbour Gray's pigs doing away down her?" he said. He whistled to his dog, who was trotting under the wagon.
"Chase 'em Rex," he ordered. Rex gave chase; and the scared little pigs ran back home as fast as they could go.

When they were safe in the pen, Piggy Joe said to Rosaline, The Big World is not so nice after all".
"You had better stay at home after this, said Snowball.
"There are bears and elephants in the Big World" said Blackie.
"There are lions," said Snowball.

The next day, the two little pigs stayed at home all the forenoon. But, after dinner, as soon as Snowball and Blackie had gone to their nap, Piggy Joe said "Lets go travelling again".
"We'd better not, "said Rosaline
"We'll not where we went yesterday. Lets go down the lane," said Joey.
"Do you suppose we'd find some skim-milk down there?" she asked.
"Of course," said Joey eagerly. "Lets start right away." They wriggled under the fence and soon two happy little pigs were going joyously down the lane. Now the lane was so long and the pigs were so little that they couldn't see the end of it.
"Do you suppose it leads to the Big City?" asked Rosaline
"Quite likely," answered Piggy Joe. "Lets got to the city”

Now Farmer Gray was away from home that day; and Mrs Gray was reading a book; and the children were at school; and the big farm dog Sport, was having a nap in the front Yard. So nobody saw the two foolish little pigs as they ran away together down the long, long, lane.

When they had gone past the apple orchard, they saw a colt in the lane ahead of them.
"Oh dear! Oh dear" said Rosaline in a trembling voice."
"Rosa, I believe you are scared," said Piggy Joe..
"It might be a bear, " said Rosaline, Now Rosa was dreadfully scared. Her heart was going pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. She wished she were safe at home.. Joey's heart was going pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, too. But he put on a brave air and said,
"Lets run by very fast, so he can't catch us." The harmless little colt didn't have any idea of catching them, and when they went scampering by, he never looked up. They ran so fast they never stopped till they were halfway down the lane.

"Weren't we brave, though?" said Piggy Joe . After a while they saw a cow and her calf in the lane ahead of them. "Oh, Joey," said Rosaline, "we'd better go back".
"I do believe you are scared again", said Joey.
"They might be elephants," said Rosaline .Now Rosaline was dreadfully scared. Her heart was going pit-a-pat and she did wish she were safe at home. Joey's heart was going pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat too. But he put on a brave air and said "Let's run by very fast so they can't catch us." The kind old cow didn't have any idea of catching them, when they were scampering by, she just stared as them and went right on chewing her cud. They ran so fast they never stopped till they were at the very end of the lane.
"Weren't we brave, though?" Said Rosaline

Then they looked up and saw -- what do you think they saw? -- not the Big City, but the woods. "Lets go into the woods cried Piggy Joe. That is the very thing they did.

All the afternoon they went wandering around in the woods. Through the rustling dry leaves they walked, around the big trees and stumps, under the bushes and ferns, once in a while stopping to root in the soft earth, once in a while drinking from a pool of water. "Isn't this lovely?" said Piggy Joe
"Much nicer than our pen", said Piggy Joe. But after a while they were hungry and Rosaline began to cry. "I want something to eat, "She whined. "When shall we find some skim-milk?"
"Don't cry, Rosa," said Piggy Joe. "There must be a pan of skim-milk somewhere in these woods. There, there, don't cry" And he wiped her tears away with a violet leaf. They hunted this way and that way for something to eat, but no skim-milk could they find, nor anything that little pigs like. Birds were singing merrily in the tree tops over their heads. Now and then a rabbit looked at them from the underbrush. Now and then a squirrel whisked up a tree near them.
"The creatures of the wood, what do they eat?" asked Rosaline, looking up into the tree tops.
"What do they indeed?" asked Piggy Joe, looking around on the ground.

While they were still hunting for something to eat, the sun went down and it became dark in the woods. "Oh dear!" said Rosaline "where shall we sleep?"
"Where shall we indeed?" asked Piggy Joe, looking off into the darkness. Well, they came across a bed of dry leaves at the foot of a tall tree and there they lay down to sleep. And the stars looked down on two hungry little pigs far from home.

That night, when Farmer Gray went to feed his pigs, only two came to the trough to eat. "Where are Rosaline and Piggy Joe?" he thought. "Come Piggy, Piggy. Come Piggy, Piggy" he called. But no pigs came running. When he went to the house, he said "Rosaline and Piggy Joe are not in the pen."
"I'll find them, " said his big son, Frank. Frank hunted for the little pigs in the garden, around the farmyard and in the clover field. Farmer Gray hunted for them and in the clover field. Farmer Gray hunted for them in the apple orchard, in the cornfield, and in the peach orchard. But no little pigs could they find. When they came back, Mrs Gray inquired, "Have you found the little pigs?" "Not a bristle of them have we seen" said Farmer Gray.
"Not a glimpse of their little curly tails" said Frank.

When the two little pigs woke up the next morning, Rosaline said, "Now let's go home." "I'll lead the way" said Piggy Joe. They started off. On every side were bushes and trees, bushes and trees. First they went in one direction and got deeper into the wood. Then they went in another direction and got still deeper into the wood. Then they looked at each other. "I'm afraid we're lost in the wood, said Rosaline. "I'm sure we're lost in the wood, "said Piggy Joe. Rosaline began to cry. "Don't cry, Rosa," said Piggy Joe.
"We're lost in the wood and I'm hungry," said Rosaline. "Isn't there any skim-milk n all this great forest?"

“We’ll keep on looking,” said Piggy Joe. So the two little pigs started on again. They wandered in the forest all that day. Though they didn’t know it, they kept getting farther and farther and farther away from the side where they came in. By night they were dreadfully tired and hungry.
“I can’t walk another step,” said Rosaline. They found a dry bed of leaves near a big log and they lay down to sleep.
“Snowball and Blackie will be having a good supper about this time,” said Rosaline. In that part of the woods there stood an old hut which long ago had been used for making maple sugar. A sugar house it was called. A stick was set up against the door to keep it open. In the middle of the night, the two little pigs were awakened by a loud, loud, sound in the forest. They both scrambled to their feet and listened. The sound grew louder.

“Maybe it’s lions,” whispered Rosaline. What it was I cannot say. Neither can the two little pigs, for they both started to run. And they ran and they ran and they ran.

Before long they came to the sugar house, and they ran right in through the open door. As Piggy Joe went in he hit the stick that held the door open. Down fell the stick, and the door went shut.
“Such a safe place to stay in tonight!” exclaimed Rosaline. And they were soon sound asleep on the floor. The next morning they were awake at sunrise.
“The lions have gone away by this time,” said Piggy Joe. “Lets go out and look for something to eat.” They went to the door but could not open it.

They hunted all around the walls, but no little hole could they find to squeeze through. There was a window on one side, about three feet from the floor, quite too high for little pigs to reach.
If only they had been rabbits, they could have burrowed out, for there was a hole in one corner of the old floor.
If only they had been squirrels, they could have run up the wall and out the window.
If only they had been birds, they could have flown out the window.
But, being little pigs, they could neither burrow out nor run up the wall nor fly out the window.
So they couldn’t get out at all.

“What shall we do? What shall we do?” asked Piggy Joe.
“Let me think a bit,” said Rosaline. As she sat thinking, she noticed a big crack between the boards on one side of the hut. She peeked through it a few moments and then exclaimed, “Oh, Joey, I can see out of the woods.”
“Goody!” exclaimed Joey. “Let me look”. Joey put his eyes to the crack.
“I see our house and our barn,” he shouted joyously. “But where is our pen?” Rosaline went to the crack again. A long time she looked through it.
“No Joey, they are not our house and barn”,” she said. “We must be on the other side of the world”.
“Far from home,” said Joey sadly. “What shall we do?”
“Let me think some,” said Rosaline. For a long time she stayed at the crack, quite still, thinking hard.
“I have it,” she said. “Some one may live in that house. If we squeal, some one may hear us and come and let us out”.

So the two little pigs began to squeal. First they both squealed together. Then Rosaline squealed alone. Then Piggy Joe squealed alone. Then they both squealed together again.

Now it happened that a man lived all alone in the little old house. Mr. Sneekum was his name. Mr Sneekum was a lazy man who did not take good care of his land, so it was grown up to weeds and brambles. He had one cow, which was in the pasture by the woods. When Mr Sneekum came to get his cow that morning, he heard the squeals.
“Why, there must be a little pig somewhere near”, he said to himself. He climbed over the fence and came into the woods. Rosaline was a the crack and saw him
“Here comes some one, Joey,” she said. “Squeal loud, squeal loud.” They squealed together as load as they could. Mr Sneekum walked into the woods and listened.
“Look, Joey, look”, cried Rosaline. “Here he comes to let us out”. In a moment Mr. Sneekum was looking in through the window.
“Ah, ha! Two little pigs!” he exclaimed. “How did they ever come here?”
“Open the door, open the door,” squealed both little pigs together. But Mr. Sneekum did not open the door. He stood at the window looking at them for a while. Then he turned away to go to his house.

“Oh dear!” said Rosaline. “He’s not going to let us out.”
“Oh dear!” said Joey. “He’s going away again. What shall we do?”

But soon Mr Sneekum came back, with an old pan in one hand and a pail of milk in the other. He put the pan into the hut and then leaned over the window sill and poured the milk into it.
“Skim-milk! Skim-milk!” cried the two little pigs. Those two hungry little pigs ran to the pan; and it wasn’t long before the milk was all gone.

He’ll let us out now,” said Rosaline. But Mr. Sneekum only stood at the window and looked at them.
“What fine pigs!” he said. “And how lucky for me! They’ll be big and fat by Thanksgiving time”.

At that very Moment, Snowball and Blackie were standing by the fence in Farmer Gray’s pigpen, looking out between the boards.
“I wonder where Rosaline and Joey are”, said Snowball sadly.
“I wish we hadn’t crowded them out of the trough,” said Blackie.
“If only they would come back, I wouldn’t be greedy any more,” said Snowball.
“Nor I, “ said Blackie.

That evening Mrs. Gray inquired, “Have you found the little pigs yet?”
“No,” said Mr Gray. “It is very strange where they could have gone.”
“I’ll put a notice up in the store at the village, “ he added. The next day, people coming into the store saw this notice posted on the wall:

Rosaline is white with pink ears
Piggy Joe is white with pink ears
Reward if returned to
Benjamin Gray

Mr Sneekum came into the store that evening, He saw several persons crowded around a notice on the wall.
“What’s the trouble?” he asked. “Mr Gray has lost two little pigs, “ said the storekeeper. Mr. Sneekum went close and looked at the notice. All he said was “Mr. Gray has lost two little pigs, has he? That is too bad.” But to himself he though, “It will be a good long time before he ever sees those two little pigs again”

The next day, Benny Gray’s cousin Mary came from the city to visit. Benny took her to the woods to gather berries. Sport went with them. While Benny and Mary were picking berries, Sport ran off into the deep woods. He chased a squirrel until the squirrel ran up a tree. Then he followed the trail of woodchuck. In and out among the trees and bushes the trail led him, away to the farther side of the forest, close to the hut where Rosaline and Piggy Joe were.
“Joey, Joey, “ cried Rosaline eagerly, “there is the big dog. Let’s squeal. Perhaps he’ll find us.” They both began to squeal. When Sport heard them, he stopped and looked around. He pricked up his ears and listened. Then he went toward the old sugar house.
“Here he comes,” said Rosaline, who was looking through a knot-hole. Sport stood up with his front paws on the window-sill.
“Get us out of here”, pleaded Joey
“Please get us out,” pleaded Rosaline. “We ran in through the open door,” said Piggy Joe. “It went shut and locked us in,” said Rosaline.
Sport ran around the hut, barking. Benny and Mary heard him. “I wonder what Sport is barking at,“ said Benny. “Let’s go and see” said Mary. They started towards the hut. Just then the supper bell rang, far away. “We can’t go now. We must go home to supper,” said Benny. He gave a loud whistle. Sport heard it and came running.
And all three went up the lane together.

It happened that some one else heard Sport bark. Mr Sneekum was sitting under an apple tree in his orchard. He heard Sport bark near the old hut.
“That sounds like Farmer Gray’s dog he said to himself. He sat there listening until the barking stopped and he felt quite sure Sport had gone away. Then he went to the woods. When he came to the old hut, he looked carefully on the ground around it. “Just as I thought” he said. “Here are a dog’s tracks”. Then he looked into the hut. “All safe yet” he said.

When Rosaline and Piggy Joe saw him standing by the window, they ran to their pan, squealing and grunting. “Give us our supper. Give us our supper,” they were saying. Mr. Sneekum stood looking at them. “All safe yet, “he repeated. “But the dog may come again. And some one may be with him next time. “You want your supper, do you?” he asked. “Well, you shall have your supper.”
He went out of the woods to his house. As he walked along, he kept thinking, “If any of Farmer Gray’s folks come to the hut, they won’t find any little pigs. I haven’t fed them all that nice milk for nothing.”
He went to the cellar and came back with half a pail of milk in one hand and two sacks in the other.

When he poured the milk into the old pan, the two little pigs ran up to it. They were so busy drinking that they did not notice Mr. Sneekum reaching down. The first thing they knew, Piggy Joe was grabbed and thrust into one of the sacks and Rosaline was grabbed and thrust into the other sack. Mr. Sneekum opened the door of the sugar house and placed the big stick against it. Then he took the two sacks, one in each hand, and went out of the woods.

They won’t leave any tracks,” he remarked, as he walked along.
Mr. Sneekum carried the pigs to his own pen, dropped them into it and fastened the door. They heard his footsteps grow fainter as he walked away to his house. The place in which Rosaline and Piggy Joe now found themselves was a little old tumble-down building.

Their own pen at Farmer Gray’s was a big open space, with a fence around it and the blue sky overhead. In one corner was an apple tree under which they could go when the sun was too hot and a little house into which they could go when it rained.
But Mr. Sneekum’s pen was small and dark and dirty.
In that little dark pen those two little pigs had to stay, for they couldn’t get out. One whole day, two whole days, three whole days passed.
“Do you suppose we’ll have to stay here always?” asked Piggy Joe.
“Oh dear! And never see our own home again!” said Rosaline.
“And never see Snowball and Blackie again!” said Piggy Joe.
At noontime, when Mr. Sneekum came to feed them, he said: “They’ll be nice and fat pigs by Thanksgiving time”.

The next afternoon Sport went with the men when they went to work in the field next to the woods. He watched them hoe corn half the afternoon; then he went into the woods to see what he could see. Before long he caught sight of a brown rabbit, which he chased through the woods to its burrow on the far side. When the rabbit disappeared, Sport went on to the very edge of the wood.
In a few moments, he heard Piggy Joe squeal. Sport stood still and pricked up his ears and listened. Then he heard Rosaline squeal. Sport started toward them. He followed the sounds through Mr. Sneekum’s pasture to his pigpen. Fortunately, Mr. Sneekum had gone to the village that afternoon. When Sport came to the pigpen, he stood up with his front paws on top of the door and looked in through the hole above it.
“We want to go. Get us out of here,” wailed Piggy Joe and Rosaline together. A squirrel on the roof of the pigpen peeped over the edge to see what was the matter. Now the door was fastened by an iron hook dropped into an iron staple. Sport had learned to open to open the wood shed door, which was fastened in the same way. He soon spied the hook and poked it with his nose.

Up flew the hook and the door swung open. The door swung open and out tumbled the two little pigs, out into the bright summer day. They could hardly see at first in the bright sunlight. But two happier little pigs never squealed and grunted.
“Take us home,” pleaded Rosaline.
“Please take us home,” said Piggy Joe.

Sport started back home. Rosaline followed. Piggy Joe came last.
Through Mr Sneekum’s pasture to the woods they went. Mr. Sneekum was just coming down the road
On his way home from the village. The first thing he did, when he reached home was to go to the pigpen. When he looked in and saw that the pen was empty, he said: “Who let those pigs out of my pen?” But the squirrel on the roof was the only one who ever knew just what happened to the little pigs.

By this time, Sport and the little pigs were safe inside the woods where Mr. Sneekum couldn’t see them. Through the woods and up the lane Sport took them. It was Benny who first saw them coming as they crossed the little bridge near the house.
“Sport has found the little pigs!” he shouted. All the folks came running to see.
“Hurrah for the little pigs!” shouted Frank
“Hurrah for Sport!” shouted Molly.
“Where did you find them?” asked Mrs. Gray. Sport wagged his tail and looked pleased; but he didn’t tell.
“We’re glad to be back! We’re glad to be Back!” said Rosaline and Piggy Joe, as plainly as grunts and squeals could talk.

They ran toward the pen, Piggy Joe tried to get in by the same hole which they had wriggled out. But a board had been nailed over it.
Mr Gray picked Joey up and dropped him over the fence into the pen.
Frank picked Rosaline up and dropped her over the fence into the pen.
“Why, where have you been all this time?” asked Snowball and Blackie.
“We’ve been a-travelling,” said Rosaline
“All over the Big, Big World”, Said Piggy Joe

That night the stars shone down on four happy little pigs sleeping peacefully together in a corner of Farmer Gray’s pigpen.