For some decades I have collected toy pigs. I buy very few nowadays, because I simply have too many. Every now and then, though, one comes up that I cannot resist.The capitalist pig was one, and the irony is that although he was only 3€, I didn't have enough money to buy him. It was the very end of a vide-grenier and I'd spent all my money: all except 2.80€. Fortunately the vendor turned out to be flexible about the price. That was a few years ago. Then, a few weeks before I wrote this, I found another pig. 

He looked so miserable and downtrodden that I had to buy him just to give him a good home. He reminded me of both the capitalist pig and of the third verse of All Things Bright and Beautiful, the verse that the Inner London Education Authority understandably banned in 1982:

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

As soon as I got him home, I put a small coin in him, because he didn't look as if he'd ever had many. Just like the capitalist pig, he has a slot in the back of his neck. But, to my total lack of surprise, there is something he does not share with his richer cousin. Beneath the feet of the capitalist pig, there is a rubber bung so you can get your money out. This pig has no such thing. If you want to get your money out, you must either smash him or stick a flat-bladed knife in the back of his head and try to balance the coins on it one by one. 

Piggy banks are supposed to teach children the values and virtues of saving. To write any more would be to beat the parallels and differences between the two pigs to death. But this is why they appear in Toys, Vide-Greniers and PPE+M. Happy Pig is however a useful antidote to both of them. 

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Words and pictures copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2016