Babe, Such a Gallant Pig

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. 1983.

The style is hysterically understated and plays off stereotypes of the grumpy farmer and meddlesome wife. I found the proper usage of bitch for female dog interesting. I do wonder if dam might have been substituted? (Can dogs be dam and sire or is it just bitch and dog?).

  • Charlotte’s Web feel. The animals have personalities. But while Charlotte saves Wilbur, Babe saves himself. And his surviving the holidays isn’t so much of an issue. It’s more about Babe learning to herd sheep.
  • The action reads a bit like a screenplay, stripped down to necessity.
  • Love the little details like “Shepherding suited Farmer Hogget—there was no waste of words in it” (55).
  • In the final challenge, rain stops and a single shaft of sunlight flows down. Fabulous use of atmosphere to add drama.