Adapted from: Real Animal Heroes, by Paul Drew Stevens

One hot summer’s day, Carol Burk and her 11-year old son, Anthony, went swimming in their local lake. They were joined by Priscilla, a two-month old piglet they had raised. Priscilla loved the water and was a great swimmer …but Anthony was not.

For hours, Anthony, his mother and Priscilla played hide-and-seek in the shallow waters. Finally, Anthony grew tired and his mum turned to get ready to leave. When she turned back, Anthony was far out in the water and struggling. She started swimming towards him and so did Priscilla. Despite being very tired from swimming all day, the little pig reached Anthony first. He grabbed for her halter and lead. In his panic he pulled too hard and went under, this time taking Priscilla with him!

Now both Anthony and Priscilla were drowning and he weighed almost four times more than she did. Priscilla struggled to get to the surface of the water. Finally, with enormous effort, she succeeded. With Anthony clinging to her small body, Priscilla swam back to shore.

Priscilla, like all pigs, has a very long memory. Years after the rescue, she still became upset whenever she saw young children playing near the water.

• How would you describe Priscilla’s behaviour?
• How would you have felt about Priscilla if she had rescued you?
• How would you reward Priscilla?

Use books and other information sources to find out more about pigs and their special qualities. Present your information as a Pig Fact File using a word processing programme.

The editor of a local newspaper has assigned you to write a story about Priscilla.
The story should explain:

• When and where the story takes place, who is present and what they are like
• What happens and to whom
• How the story ends
• If only… or what if…
• The moral of the story

You can use any of the piggy facts that you have found in your research and when you have finished, create an illustration and give your newspaper article a catchy title.

Pigs lived wild in Britain’s woodlands until they were hunted to extinction in the 1600s. They would root around in the earth looking for food and digging up acorns, seeds, nuts, insects, roots and other goodies with their powerful snouts.

In the wild, pigs walk for miles to find the perfect place to build a nest where they can give birth to their piglets. These nests can be as much as one metre high.

Pigs love to have their tummies rubbed, just like a dog.

Pigs are smart! In fact, they are more intelligent then a dog and have even been taught to play computer games.