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1001 Stories Collection

The Three Little Pigs

1001 thethreelittlepigs
Added on 15th June 2020

Oral tradition English fairy tale

UK and Ireland Animals Folk and fairy tales
1001 , Audio , Text

A popular fairy tale about three little pigs and a big, bad wolf.


Three little pigs set out to seek their fortunes, but first they must build themselves a house. The laziest pig builds his house with straw, while the second builds his with sticks. The third pig works long and hard to build his house with bricks. Will their houses be strong enough to keep out the Big Bad Wolf?

Why we chose it

When we asked visitors to the museum to tell us their favourite traditional stories, The Three Little Pigs was one of the most frequently suggested. It was one of the stories included in our original audio collection and featured in our World Stories room.

Where it came from

The story existed orally long before it was first printed in James Orchard Halliwell’s Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales in 1849. It is similar to the Grimms’ fairy tale The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids (1812). Indeed, this is one of many folktales about villainous wolves intruding on their victims’ homes.

Where it went next

The Three Little Pigs features in several fairy tale collections, including The Green Fairy Book (1892) by Andrew Lang and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (1982). It has inspired numerous plays, books and films. Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoon (1933), introduced the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf”.

Associated stories

There have been numerous picture books versions of the story. In his version, David Wiesner goes one step further and the wolf doesn’t just blow the house down but blows the pigs right out of the story and off on a wildly imaginative adventure. Many authors and illustrators have been inspired to tell the tale from different perspectives. Jon Sciezca and Lane Smith in The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (1989) tell the story from the wolf’s point of view, and Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury reverse the characters’ roles in The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (1993).

Added on 15th June 2020

Oral tradition English fairy tale

UK and Ireland Animals Folk and fairy tales
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • The Three Little Pigs story text PDF (39.073 KB)