Old Woman and her Pig

Will the old woman get home before midnight?

New: Activity Teaching Packs

If you are a teacher, you will want to know about these storytelling resources – for online and classroom teaching

Based on my many years teaching English in a German secondary school, activities to turn the power of storytelling into:

Powerful listening – Speaking and discussion exercises – Vocabulary extension – Grammar consolidation – Writing activities

Go to:       Beginners       Intermediate       Advanced      How to use ATPs      How to buy


An English folk tale which is as popular with adults as with children.
The story is numbered AaTh 2030 in Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson’s international index of tale-types The Types of the Folktale.
To see how wide-spread it is, go to this page on Distributed Proofreaders which has versions in 26 different languages.

A Storytell friend, Ofra, sent me the following:

Prototype of this story is Had Gadia, a song we sing at the end of the Seder, which is the ceremonial dinner at the beginning of the Pessach week in which we eat Matzos instead of bread to commemorate the time the Jews fled Egypt to the desert and took with them bread baked of unleavened dough because they did not have the time to wait. 

This story is a prototype in the Aarne Thompson nomenclature of all the types of stories.

It is obviously not about a pig but about a kid bought at the market by Father for two zoozim (may be two pence), the cat ate the kid, the dog bit the cat, the stick hit the dog, the fire consumed the stick, the water spent the fire. the bull drank the water, the butcher butchers the bull, the angel of death kills the butcher, and God kills the angel of death.

There are many different tunes to it, but no Seder can be finished without all the family singing it together. Last time we were forty six around the table.

With the 2020 coronavirus lockdown meaning no live performances, I enjoyed the challenge of keeping an element of participation in this telling recorded at home.

Want to download the video?
Videos are provided free to view.

If you want to download one, I can arrange that. Just send me a mail telling me which story you’d like, and your reason for wanting a download.

A teaching activity to follow the tale: Last-line race

The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres or, as here, recorded at home.
Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.
Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.
The videos are © Richard Martin.
Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

Go here for tales to watch

Go here for a list of all tales included on this site

Go here to receive an e-mail notification when new tales are added

Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling