3 pigs

The 3 Austrian Pigs

And Their Different Rates of Time Preference

ONCE UPON A TIME, there were 3 little pigs in the Old Country.

They were brothers. The youngest was named Friedrich, the middle pig was Ludwig, and Carl was the oldest.

One day, they decided to come to the New World to make their fortunes.

They were sad to leave their mother, but she was proud of them for striking out on their own and for promising to take care of each other.

"Work hard," she said, "save your money, and live the American Dream!"

They promised her they would.

Once they were here, they found work in contracting and construction — jobs that paid them each $5 per week.

Friedrich, the youngest pig, spent $1 on room (which is another word for "rent"), and $1 on board (which is another word for the food they serve at the place that rents rooms), and the third dollar on [ask child or spouse what the the third dollar was spent on; my wife said CANDY], and the fourth dollar on [A TV SET, apparently], and he wanted to spend the last dollar on [A CABLE SUBSCRIPTION] but he knew he needed to save some money if he ever hoped to afford to build his house.

Ludwig, the middle brother, spent $1 on room, $1 on board, the third dollar on [BLING-BLING] and he wanted to spend another dollar on [GOING TO A NIGHT CLUB — to show off his bling-bling, no doubt], but he knew he needed to save some money if he ever hoped to afford to build himself a house.

Carl, the oldest brother, spent $1 on room, $1 on board, and he wanted to spend another dollar on [COMIC BOOKS] but he knew he needed to save some money if he ever hoped to afford to build his new home.

Friedrich used his $1 savings to buy a pile of straw, and with it he built a straw hut.

Ludwig used his $2 savings to buy a bundle of sticks, and with it he built a log cabin.

Carl used his $3 savings to buy bricks and mortar and with them he built a nice brick ranch home like the one we live in.

Around the same time that the 3 brothers were finishing their new homes, The Big Bad Wolf (whom you may recognize from some other stories) returned from a sojourn abroad. When he learned that there were new pigs in town, he developed a powerful craving for pork.

He went to Friedrich’s straw hut and knocked on the door.

"Little pig, little pig," said the wolf. "Let me in! Let me in!"

Friedrich replied: "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!"

"Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!"

And so the wolf huffed and puffed and blew … and Friedrich’s hut was once again a mere pile of straw. Friedrich squealed in terror and ran off to his brother Ludwig’s house.

But the wolf followed him. He knocked on the door to Ludwig’s log cabin.

"Little pigs, little pigs. Let me in! Let me in!"

"Not by the hairs of our chinny-chin-chins!"

"Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!"

And he did: he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed and puffed, and he blew until Ludwig’s cabin was just a pile of sticks. The two little pigs squealed in horror and ran off to their brother Carl’s new home.

But the wolf followed them. He knocked on the door to Carl’s brick house.

"Little pigs, little pigs. Let me in! Let me in!"

"Not by the hairs of our chinny-chin-chins!"

"Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!"

So he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he HUFFED and he PUFFED … but no matter how hard he blew, the brick house stood safe.

"There’s more than one way to skin a pig," panted the wolf, and once he had given himself time to catch his breath, he climbed up onto Carl’s roof and climbed down the chimney.

But while the wolf had been recovering his breath, Carl had thought to build a fire. At the bottom of the chimney, the wolf found himself in flames.

And the 3 little pigs broke bread, drank wine, and shared a delicious dinner of wolf stew — just like Mama used to make.

Happy, safe, and sated, the porcine siblings sat by the fireplace and digested.

"Brothers," said Carl. "I want you to stay here as my guests until you’ve had time to rebuild your homes.

"Thank you, brother," said Ludwig. "I will save more this time and I will buy bricks to build a home as nice as yours."

"Yes, thank you, brother," said Friedrich, "but I am tired of building. If you don’t mind, I’ll just live here with you."

"That would be fine, brother," said Carl. "You can stay as long as you like … for a nominal fee." (Remember: "room and board"!)

So Ludwig did as he said, and eventually had a brick home next to his brothers.

Friedrich also did as he had said, and with the money he was no longer saving, he could now purchase the [CABLE TV SUBSCRIPTION] he had previously forgone.

Carl continued to save, but what he did with his capital accumulation is a tale for another time.

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

THE END

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4 Responses to 3 pigs

  1. I think this was a rather excellent remake of the old fairytale – perhaps it should be expanded further and used in to teach economics… After all, such simple examples make it easier for most people to grasp the ideas of economics.

  2. Carolyn Fay says:

    Add a few more fairy tales, some songs, and you just may have “Free to be You and Me” for Benjamin’s generation:

    “Free to Charge a Nominal Fee for You and Me.”

  3. Dave says:

    There is a illustrated version of Pigs is Pigs at:
    http://www.adamsmithacademy.org/PigsIsPigs.html

    You can see more classic literature animated at:
    http://www.adamsmithacademy.org

  4. Pingback: Clinical trials could see billion dollar pig industry rival dairying « Wikiriwhi’s business Weblog

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