“Why is it called The Three Little Pigs,” asked a small voice behind me.
“What?” I turned around to find Lydia with a finger pressed to her cheek in thought.
“The story. Why do we call it The Three Little Pigs?”
“Uh… Because it’s… you know- Wait, why? What do you think it should be called?”
She pointed into the air triumphantly, “It should really be called The Big Bad Wolf!” she spun in a quick circle. “Do you know why?”
I waited while she twirled a few more times, “Okay why?”
“Because the Wolf is the one that does all of the work! The pigs don’t do hardly anything. The wolf is the one that does all the huffing and puffing and the blowing the house down. Three houses!” Her eyes were wide with admiration, just thinking about it. She smiled and curtsied.
I smiled back and then took the sweet little girl by the shoulders and leaned down so our noses were nearly touching. I wanted to be completely sure she was listening, “Alright, real talk little lady.” I took a deep breath. “Destroying things is not the same as work. It’s not. Making things is harder. Building things is better. Tearing things up is not work.”
And then I snapped my fingers and we made eye contact again, “Lydia, The Big Bad Wolf is not the hero of the story.”
“Oooooh…” She nodded, but her eyebrows told me that she wasn’t entirely convinced.
As she hopped noisily up the stairs I thought about our living room floor scattered with torn up sheets of paper, and our dining room table covered in paints and markers, and the girl’s bedroom scattered with piles of both dirty and clean clothes dumped out on top of each other. And I considered for a moment what manner of creature we had allowed inside of our fragile little house of straw.