The Sheep Pig
This review was contributed by Stephen de la B
In Brief: How a piglet on a farm is trained as a sheep-‘dog’ and wins trials
Published in: 1983
Age Range: Children
- Babe, the plucky sheep-pig who challenges the prejudices of the other farm animals
- Mr and Mrs Hogget, a good and hardworking farmer and wife
- Fly, the black and white collie who acts as a surrogate mother to Babe
- Ma, a decrepit old ewe
Babe, a piglet, is won by the farmer in the village show, and is adopted by the farm's sheepdog Fly. Babe wants to follow his “mother” and learns the working practices of a sheepdog, circumventing his lack of speed by being especially polite to the sheep who do whatever he asks. He also foils a gang of rustlers and chases of some dogs. The farmer eventually takes him to the national sheepdog trials.
The story is fast-moving, with the characters strongly delineated in ways that are typical of species. The humanisation of the animals fits in well with the story, although the thought remains that it would have been so easy for Babe to end up a couple of hams instead of Sheepdog Trials champion! Throughout the story there are humorous touches to liven it … the sheeps’ referral of dogs as ‘wolves’! No wonder this story made a very good and well-known film.
- Life on a farm
- The pastoral landscape
- The way in which the author has achieved a child’s picture of a farm
Monday 6th April 2015