The Enchanted Pig

Download 229.77 Kb.
Date conversion15.05.2016
Size229.77 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5

East of the Moon West of the Sun

This is the other source for the Young Vic’s The Enchanted Pig. It can be found in Popular Tales from the Norse, translated by Asbjornsen and Moe. Edinburgh: David Douglass, 1888.)

Similar Tales

It is interesting to look at stories that may have influenced The Enchanted Pig or share similar themes and events.

Cupid and Psyche
Possibly the original source for The Enchanted Pig, this story contains many elements similar to the Young Vic production, including a monster bridegroom, a helpful Wind and a series of tasks the heroine has to face before she can be with her husband.
Bulfinch, Thomas. ‘Cupid and Psyche.’ Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable. Boston: S. W. Tilton & Co. 1855. This site also has the original Apuleius version and a version written specifically for children.

Beauty and the Beast
A later version of the story of Cupid and Psyche where, again, the heroine marries a strange beast.
Lang, Andrew, ed. ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ The Blue Fairy Book. New York: Dover, 1965. Original published 1889.There is also a Basque and French version at this site.

Animal Bridegrooms
Some tales from the American Indians and other cultures about animal bridegrooms and more specifically, pig bridegrooms. and
Edited and/or translated by D. L. Ashliman © 1998-2000.


A story taken from Homer’s Odyssey about an enchantress who turned men into swine.

Curious Women

When Flora unlocks the secret room in The Enchanted Pig she is joining a long line of curious women from mythology and folk literature. Here are some other stories about inquisitive heroines:

Adam and Eve
The story of Eve and the Tree of Knowledge can be found in the Bible – Genesis, Chapter 3.

Pandora’s Box
Guerber, H. A. The Myths of Greece and Rome G. Harrap & Co. 1907.

Charles Perrault, Lang, Andrew, ed. ‘Bluebeard.’ The Blue Fairy Book. New York: Dover, 1965. Original published 1889.


Many people believe in the idea of fate: that the future has already been decided. Others believe that they create their own destiny, or future, by making choices throughout their life.

The Book of Fate in The Enchanted Pig is thought to foretell the future. Similar books can be found in mythology, such as the Tablets of Destiny from Mesopotamian, which were carved from stone and said to describe the destiny of the universe and all things in it. There is a story that tells of a god, Imdugud, stealing the tablets from Enlil the chief sky god. Supposedly, whoever possessed the tablets ruled the universe. The French emperor Napoleon often consulted an ancient Eqyptian roll of papyrus known as Osirus's Will for Man which was thought to predict the future. It never left Napoleon's side until his defeat at the battle of Leipzig in 1813, shortly after which he was defeated by Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

The word fate comes from a Latin (the language used by ancient Rome) word fatum which means ‘that which is spoken’. It was used to describe three goddesses of ancient Greek and Roman mythology – the Fates. These three goddesses are the sisters, Lachesis, Clotho and Atropos, who come to the birth of each human and decide on their destiny. Lachesis sings of the past, Clotho of the present, and Atropos of the future. The Fates are often shown spinning a thread which represents a human life: the thread is spun by Clotho, measured by Lachesis and finally cut by Atropos. Because she decides on the length of your life (and, therefore, when you die) Atropos is the most feared of the three sisters.

Three Fates

Some believe the Fates are controlled by Zeus, the King of the Gods. Others believe that even Zeus is ruled by the Fates and that they are the most powerful of all the gods and goddesses.

Similar groups of three goddesses appear in other mythologies. The Norse, who lived in Norway, Sweden and Iceland over a thousand years ago, called their three goddesses the Norns. They were Urth, the past; Verthandi, the present; and Skuld, the future. Sometimes the Norns were called the Weird Sisters, from the Norse word wyrd, meaning ‘fate’. (The three witches in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth were referred to as The Weird Sisters.) The Celts had three war goddesses, known as the Morrigan, who decided on the fate of soldiers in battle. The idea of a triple goddess may have come from a very old religion which worshipped the moon. Because the moon changes shape throughout the month, the moon was imagined to be three women: the maiden or young woman (the new moon), the mother (the full moon), and the crone or old woman (the old moon).

The Norns

The crone, or old woman, can be found throughout human mythology. From her beginnings as the face of the moon, she appears again as the Fates, who were often shown as hideous old women, and again later in Greek and Roman stories about Sibyls – old women who passed on prophecies from the gods. She also appears in many fairy stories.

Our use of the word ‘fairy tales’, like the word ‘fate’ also comes from the Latin word fatum. The character of the Old Woman, who might be a fairy godmother or wicked witch, shows many similarities to the Fates, giving warnings about the future or changing the hero or heroine’s destiny for good or bad. For example, the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty appears at the princess’s christening and places a curse on her: that she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. The Fates, who themselves were very familiar with the art of spinning, would often appear at the birth of a child to foretell its destiny.

In The Enchanted Pig there are several characters who play the role of the Fates. The Book of Fate tells Flora she will marry a pig, but there is also the familiar figure of the Old Woman, who does her best to influence Flora’s destiny. At first the Old Woman seems to be like a fairy godmother, helping Flora break her pig bridegroom’s enchantment. She gives Flora a magic red thread, telling her to tie Pig’s ankle to the bed while he sleeps, but when the thread snaps the couple are forced to part, tricked by the Old Woman. This red thread is similar to the thread of life spun by the Fates, and when it breaks, Flora loses the future the Book of Fate has chosen for her. To get it back she must do the impossible: wear out three pairs of iron shoes. The Old Woman continues to stand in Flora’s way, but finally she must let her fulfil her destiny – she cannot control Fate.

The figure of the Old Woman, as well as an important character in fairy stories, also appears as a teller of fairy stories. In The Golden Ass, a story written in the third century, a young woman is kidnapped and held for ransom. While she is held captive, an old woman tells her a story. This story is Cupid and Psyche, the tale that Beauty and the Beast is based on, and the earliest written fairy story.

In 1697 a Frenchman called Charles Perrault, published a collection of eight fairy tales which included Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Bluebeard. Although the book was called Histories and Tales of Long Ago, an illustration on the first page showed an old woman spinning and telling stories with the words Contes de la Mere l'Oye (Tales of My Mother the Goose) behind her. The reason for this is that many stories were told while spinning to while away the hours and keep children occupied while their mother worked.

When Perrault pictured her as the teller of his tales, Mother Goose was already a popular folk figure. As Perrault’s stories were translated into other languages and became popular throughout the world, Mother Goose travelled with them and became the familiar nursery character we know today. But while she might seem to modern audiences like a nanny or favourite grandmother, it is likely that she, too, developed from the characters of the Fates, the Sibyl and the Crone.



In The Enchanted Pig the Sun, Moon and the North Wind are personified. For thousands of years, many cultures have also personified these natural phenomenon in order to try and understand why they behave in the ways they do – The Enchanted Pig is just one such example. Here are some actual scientific facts about them.

The Sun

The sun is the star around which our own solar system is based. A star is a huge, dense body that is held together by its own gravity and generates energy through continuous nuclear fusion*. The sun creates enough heat and light to support all life on earth.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In winter, when the days are shorter, the sun rises and sets closer to the horizon (to the south in the northern hemisphere, and to the north in the southern hemisphere). As winter turns to spring and summer, the sun gets higher in the sky and the days get longer. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the winter solstice is the shortest day. The equinox is the time (once in autumn and once in spring) when the day is as long as the night.

The Moon

The moon orbits around the earth. Just as the earth’s gravity exerts a force on us, so does the moon. We cannot feel it in the same way as we feels the earth’s but the moon’s gravity causes tides. A cold, dry rock whose surface is studded with craters and strewn with dust, the moon has no atmosphere. The moon was probably created when a small planet struck the earth just after the formation of the solar system, throwing large amounts of hot matter out into the air which eventually stuck together to form the moon in orbit around the earth. The moon was first visited by the Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 in 1959. The first manned landing was on July 20, 1969; the last was in December 1972.


Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the earth's surface and the flow of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low. A wind is named by the direction the wind comes from, so the North wind comes from the north.


The Sun

In many prehistoric and ancient cultures, the sun was thought to be a god. Many early religions were based around the sun and the patterns of its behaviour throughout the year. Stone monuments in Nabta Playa in Egypt and at Stonehenge in England accurately mark the summer solstice (the longest day of the year). The pyramid of El Castillo at Chichén Itzá in


* the process by which multiple nuclei join together to form a heavier nucleus. It is accompanied by the release or absorption of energy. Nuclear fusion of light elements releases the energy that causes stars to shine and hydrogen bombs to explode.

Mexico was designed over 1400 years ago by the Mayan people. On the spring and autumn equinox (when the day is exactly the same length of time as the night), at the rising and setting of the sun, the corner of the structure casts a shadow in the shape of a plumed serpent (one of the Mayan people’s gods) along the side of the temple.

El Castillo at Chichén Itzá

The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the sun was a god, Helios (later known as Apollo). Each morning at dawn he rose from the ocean in the east and rode in his chariot, pulled by four horses - Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phlegon - through the sky, to descend at night in the west. Helios’ son Phaeton, (‘the shining one’) when he finally learnt who his father was, went east to meet him. He persuaded his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun across the heavens for one day. The horses, feeling their reins held by a weaker hand, ran wildly out of their course and came close to the earth, threatening to burn it. Zeus noticed the danger and destroyed Phaeton with a thunderbolt.

Helios Amaterasu

Amaterasu is a Japanese Sun goddess. One day she ran from her brother in embarrassment and hid in a cave, obscuring the light that shone from her and plunging the world into darkness.

Liza is a deity of the Fon people who live in West Africa. Liza is the male sun, which is fierce and harsh, and Mawu is the female moon. Mawu and Liza were also regarded as twins. Their unity represented the order of the universe. Liza is said to dwell in the East, and Mawu in the West. Mawu and Liza were born from Nana Buluku, who created the world.

Worship of the sun was central to civilizations such as the Aztecs. (The Aztecs were a powerful civilisation that existed in central America before the Spanish invasion in the sixteenth century). Huitzilopochtli, whose name means ‘Blue Hummingbird on the Left’, was the Aztec god of the sun and war. Huitzilopochtli was depicted as a blue man fully armed and with his head decorated with hummingbird feathers. His mother, Coatlicue, was made magically pregnant with Huitzilopochtli when a ball of feathers fell into the temple where she was sweeping and came into contact with her breast. This mysterious pregnancy made her four hundred star children angry and they decided to kill her. However, Huitzilopochtli sprang out of his mother as an adult fully armed and killed his other star brothers and sisters. He cut off the leader’s head and threw it up into the sky to become the moon. Huitzilopochtli was also the god who was supposed to guide Aztecs towards a promised land in the South. The Aztec people fought to form an empire and to capture prisoners to sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli. The most common form of sacrifice was to tear out the heart of a living adult or child and offer it to the sun.


Tsohanoai is the sun god of the Navajo Indians of North America. He crosses the sky, carrying the sun on his back. At night, the sun rests by hanging on a peg in his house.

Chinese people believed there existed ten suns which appeared in turn in the sky during the Chinese ten-day week. Each day the ten suns would travel with their mother, the goddess Xi He, to the Valley of the Light in the East. There, Xi He would wash her children in the lake and put them in the branches of an enormous mulberry tree called fu-sang. From the tree, only one sun would move off into the sky for a journey of one day, to reach mount Yen-Tzu in the Far West. Tired of this routine, the ten suns decided to appear all together. The combined heat made life on earth unbearable. To prevent the destruction of the earth, the emperor Yao asked Di Jun, the father of the ten suns, to persuade his children to appear one at a time. They would not listen to him, so Di Jun sent the archer, Yi, armed with a magic bow and ten arrows to frighten the disobedient suns. However, Yi only shot nine suns, and the Sun that we see today remained in the sky. Di Jun was so angry about the death of nine of his children that he condemned Yi to live as an ordinary mortal on the earth.

In The Enchanted Pig, the character of the sun is lively, happy and sporty. As we can see, in other stories he can be brave, fierce, strong, but also shy.

The Moon

It is thought that the earliest depiction of the moon is on a 5,000 year old rock carving at Knowth in Ireland.

In Greek mythology Artemis (Diana in Roman mythology) is the goddess of the moon and the twin sister of Apollo (the sun god). She was the virgin goddess of the hunt, chastity, and childbirth.

Artemis Annigan

The Inuit, a group of people who live around the Arctic circle, tell a story about Malina, the sun goddess, and her brother Anningan, the moon god. One night Anningan attacked his sister. During the fight, a seal oil lamp was overturned and Malina's hands became black from the oil. As she pushed Anningan away her hands got his face dirty. Malina ran as far away as she could into the sky, but Anningan started to chase her, and continues to do so today. Because he chases her so much, each night he becomes skinnier and that is why the moon gets smaller each evening during the month. At the end of a month, Anningan disappears for three days to eat. Then he starts chasing her all over again.

In Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) mythology, Rona was the daughter of the sea god, Tangaroa. She controlled the tide. One night she was carrying a bucket of stream water back home to her children when the path became dark. The moon slipped behind the clouds making it impossible to see anything. As Rona was walking, she hit her foot against a root that was sticking out of the ground and she was so upset she made some unkind remarks about the moon. The moon heard her remarks and put a curse on the Maori people and grabbed Rona and her water bucket. Many people today see a woman with a bucket in the moon and it is said that when Rona upsets her bucket, it rains. This Maori story symbolizes the influence of the moon on the rain and on the waters of the Earth, and especially on the tides.

Often depicted as a wise old man with a long beard, the moon god Sin was one of the most important Babylonian gods. Sin was thought to confer fertility and prosperity on cowherds by governing the rise of waters and the growth of reeds, particularly in the marshes along the Euphrates River, where his worship originated. He was also connected with wisdom and with the calendar.

In our production of The Enchanted Pig, we have depicted the character of the Moon as a lighthouse keeper who spends his time cleaning the lenses. He is introspective, sad and mournful. However, other cultures have associated the moon with being mischievous and inconstant, as it waxes and wanes. Also, the words lunacy, lunatic and loony are derived from the Latin word luna meaning moon, because of the folk belief in the moon as a cause of madness.

Designs for the Moon’s costume

The Wind

Man has given the winds many different names, often to characterise the effect, good or bad, that wind could have on life. In The Enchanted Pig, the North Wind is portrayed as a forthright person who speaks his mind at all times and is seemingly rude, although we soon realise that he is actually a very kind, loving husband.

In Europe, the North Wind has always been bitter and cold as it blows from the Arctic, or North Pole. The Greeks gave names to the fours winds, but it is Boreas, the North Wind who figures most prominently. Boreas had two sons, two daughters, and twelve mares which raced over the ground without destroying the grain. When the Persian navy of Xerxes threatened the city of Athens, the Athenians begged his assistance. The Great Wind of the Wintery North blew his anger at the Persians and four hundred Persian ships immediately sank.


The other Greek wind gods are Zephyrus (West Wind), Eurus (East Wind), and Notus (South Wind). The south wind comes from the south and is warm, but it also brings storms in late summer and autumn.

The Hopi, a Native American tribe, tell of a wind god, Yaponcha who lived at the foot of Sunset Crater in a great crack in the black rock, through which he breathes, and does so to this day. One day the Hopi sealed up the crack so the wind wouldn’t blow all their seeds away. This made the climate so hot they decided to open up a little hole for Yaponcha, just enough for him to breathe through, but not large enough for him to come out altogether. Ever since that time, the winds have been just right - enough to keep the people cool without blowing everything away.

Fujin is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods. He was present at the creation of the world, and when he first let the winds out of his bag, they cleared the morning mists and filled the space between heaven and earth so the sun could shine. He is portrayed as a terrifying dark demon wearing a leopard skin and carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders. A legend in Chinese Buddhism states that Fujin and Raijin, the god of thunder, were both originally evil demons who opposed Buddha. They were captured in battle by Buddha's army of heaven, and have worked as gods since then.

Fujin Ehecatl

In Aztec mythology, Ehecatl is the god of the winds. He begins the movement of the sun, and sweeps the high roads of the rain god with his breath.

Vayu is the Indian Hindu wind god and father of Hanuman, the mischievous monkey god. As a child, Hanuman thought the sun was a sweet fruit and swallowed it, plunging the universe into darkness. Indra, the thunder god, struck Hanuman down and Vayu threatened to withdraw all the air from the world. However, Yama, the God of death granted Hanuman immortality, whereupon he freed the sun and the universe was lit.

6. PIGS!

Swine is a term that describes all cloven-hoofed, snouted animals. Pig refers to domesticated animals that we see in the farmyard. A female pig is a sow and a male pig is a boarBoar is also the English word for the tusked and hairier swine that live in the wild. Young pigs are called either piglets, shoats or arrowHog is a synonym for pig

Pigs are unable to sweat; instead, they wallow in mud to cool down. This has given them a reputation for being messy, when in fact, pigs are some of the cleanest animals around, preferring not to go to the toilet anywhere near their living or eating areas.

Pigs are smarter than any other domestic animal, and excellent problem solvers. They are considered by animal experts to be more trainable than dogs or cats.

Pigs exist, in one form or another, in every part of the world - red river hogs in West Africa, bearded pigs in Borneo, peccaries in Bolivia, and tusked Indonesian babirusa all enjoy similar food and a good roll in the dirt.

It is believed that humans started to keep swine around 7500 BCE, about the same time as sheep, but they did not spread rapidly, possibly because pigs need to eat more than grass, which means that they are more expensive to keep.

Both Muslim and Jewish cultures forbid the eating of pork. There are several reasons suggested for this: firstly, the sow may have been sacred; secondly, the pig is genetically quite close to humans, so that there may have been an early anti-cannibalistic instinct against the eating of pork; and lastly, is the health risk associated with eating undercooked pork.

Pig Tales

The pig eats almost everything in its path, making it a menace to crops and to people. Pigs eat meat, sometimes their own young, and there are even stories of domestic pigs killing and eating humans. There are many myths about pigs eating anything and everything. According to Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough (1890), at a Halloween bonfire when the fire went out, everyone ran away shouting, "The cropped sow seize the hindermost". Masks of a Polynesian demon are armed with boar's tusks, as well as many Eastern depictions of demons. Ancient images of Medusa (a snake-haired monster) often show her with boar's tusks too. 

Many stories about boars and pigs are connected with death. The medieval Welsh stories, the Mabinogion, mention the introduction of pigs to the British Isles, along with their link to Annwyn, the Celtic land of the dead, and Arawn its king.

In pigs’ trotters there are very small holes, which may be seen when the hair has been carefully removed. It may be as a result of these connections with death, that a tradition has arisen about the legion of devils entering the world by these holes.

Among the Egyptians, touching a pig was considered unclean, and swineherds were a class of untouchables, forbidden from entering a temple. However, the Egyptian goddess of the night, Mother of Stars, was sometimes depicted as a sow suckling her pigs.

In the Chinese folk story, Monkey!, Pigsy, originally a divine being, was placed on earth in a half-human, half-pig form as punishment for a drunken indiscretion with the moon goddess' daughter. Before his conversion to Buddhism, Pigsy was also a demon, a cannibal, and a glutton. His weapon, a manure fork, indicates his affinity with excrement.

The Polynesian pig, Kamapua, or Hog Child, wooed Pele the fire or volcano goddess. He is a fertility god who also has connections with the underworld.

Pigs were also often sacrificed to various gods. Once a year, in ancient Egypt, pigs were sacrificed to Osiris and to the moon, and their flesh eaten. Pigs were also sacrificed to Demeter, the Greek harvest goddess, as they were thought to be her favourite animal.

Pigs are also considered to be very intelligent and many stories have been written which involve a clever pig. The Three Little Pigs is a famous fairy tale in which the third pig outwits the wolf inside his brick house. Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith, which was made into a very successful film called Babe, tells the story of a little pig called Babe who learns how to be a sheep-dog and saves the sheep from thieves. Most famously, George Orwell in Animal Farm portrays the pigs in the farmyard as the animals who lead the revolution against man.

1   2   3   4   5

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page