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Freddy the Pig

"He who has not met Freddy the Pig has not led a complete life."
— Harley Hahn

Who Is Freddy the Pig?

The following is an excerpt from my book, Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages...

Between 1927 and 1958, the American writer Walter R. Brooks (1886-1958) wrote 26 children's books about Freddy the Pig.

Freddy lives on a farm owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bean, near the town of Centerboro in upstate New York, along with many other animals, including Mrs. Wiggins (cow), Jinx (cat), Charles (rooster), Henrietta (hen), Alice, Emma and Uncle Wesley (ducks), Hank (horse), Robert and Georgie (dogs), and Eek, Eeny, Quik and Cousin Augustus (mice).

All the animals can talk, but Freddy is, by far, the most talented. In the course of the books he becomes a detective, a poet, a newspaper publisher (founder of the "Bean Home News"), a banker (he starts the First Animal Bank), a pilot, a football player, a politician (when Mrs. Wiggins runs for president of the First Animal Republic), a magician, a baseball coach, and a lot more.

I have a large Freddy collection and have read each book many times. In fact, much of what I know about human nature, I learned from Freddy and his friends.

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The Complete List of Freddy the Pig Books

For reference, here is the complete list of Freddy the Pig books. You can find these books in the children's section of any library.

  1. Freddy Goes To Florida (1927)
  2. Freddy Goes To the North Pole (1930)
  3. Freddy the Detective (1932)
  4. The Story of Freginald (1936)
  5. The Clockwork Twin (1937)
  6. Freddy the Politician (1939)
  7. Freddy's Cousin Weedly (1940)
  8. Freddy and the Ignormus (1941)
  9. Freddy and the Perilous Adventure (1942)
  10. Freddy and the Bean Home News (1943)
  11. Freddy and Mr Camphor (1944)
  12. Freddy and the Popinjay (1945)
  13. Freddy the Pied Piper (1946)
  14. Freddy the Magician (1947)
  15. Freddy Goes Camping (1948)
  16. Freddy Plays Football (1949)
  17. Freddy the Cowboy (1950)
  18. Freddy Rides Again (1951)
  19. Freddy the Pilot (1952)
  20. Freddy and the Space Ship (1953)
  21. The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig (1953)
  22. Freddy and the Men from Mars (1954)
  23. Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars (1955)
  24. Freddy and Simon the Dictator (1956)
  25. Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans (1957)
  26. Freddy and the Dragon (1958)

If you would like to own your own copies, it is easy to do so, as they have all been reprinted.

Freddy the Pig books from Abrams Publishers

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The Friends of Freddy Organization

Freddy the Pig has many fans, and they have formed an organization called the Friends of Freddy (FOF). If you are a Freddy fan (or you are just interested in beefing up your resumé), you might want to join the Friends of Freddy:

Learn more about the Friends of Freddy

Every two years, the FOF has a convention in the fall. In October, 2000, I went to the FOF convention, which was held in Windham, New York, close to where Walter Brooks used to live. In October, 2004, I went to the FOF convention in Rome, New York, the birthplace of Walter Brooks.

Freddy conventions are a lot of fun. There are talks, performances and many friendly people to meet. I had a great time at both of them, and I am only sorry I missed the 2002 gathering.

For more information about conventions and other gatherings, see the Friends of Freddy Web site.

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Freddy and the Internet

Freddy the Pig is an accomplished poet. At the October 2000 Friends of Freddy convention in Windham, New York, I gave a talk entitled "Freddy and the Internet". As part of the presentation, I read a brand new poem, "The Internet", which I wrote in the style of Freddy. The poem was well-received and, by popular request, is presented here for your enjoyment.

The Internet
by Freddy the Pig

The Internet is quite a place
Although it doesn't have a face,
Nor really anywhere to go
To see a movie or a show.
But still, I like to click my mouse,
And never have to leave the house
Except perhaps to take a break
Whene'er my back begins to ache.
It's also nice to have a snack
(For, as you know, food helps the back).
I'll look online for treats, and then,
Have them delivered to my pen.

And when it rains, I'll sit and chat
With Georgie, Charles and Jinx the Cat.
If going out is too much trouble
I'll send some email on the double
To Mrs. Wiggins at the barn
Relating some old tale or yarn
About a case we've yet to settle
And use the Net to prove our mettle.
By hunting clues around the globe
We'll use the Internet to probe
Into the minds of thieves and crooks
With information not in books
(Like Shakespeare, which I've not quite read,
Because it's holding up my bed).

On the Net, I use the Web
To find my fav-o-rite celeb-
-rities, then send them all email
And hope that they will tell me "Hail
to you, oh fearless Internaut
You — who've been an astronaut
Poet, banker, de-tect-i-tive,
The smartest pig to ever live!
Because of you, I've won my bet
That pigs can use the Internet."

One day, when I have lots of time
I'll make a site, complete with rhyme
For all the world to have some fun
To come and see what I have done.
And everyone from near and far
Will, no doubt, say that I'm a star
And they will see I have the knack
But now— I think I need a snack.

So that is all I have to say
About the Internet today.

If you have read the Freddy books, you may know that Freddy is not the only poet. Another character, Mrs. Peppercorn, also writes poetry. Mrs. Peppercorn's philosophy is that it is boring to use the same old rhymes that everyone has been using for years. Instead, she creates new ones, endowing her poetry with a unique style.

During my presentation, I also read a short poem about the Internet composed by Mrs. Peppercorn.

The Internet
by Mrs. Peppercorn

I love the Net because it's nice
To spend some time in Cyberspice.

If you can't visit me or call,
You can always reach me by e-mall.

Or, if you like to talk or blab,
Come chat with me upon the Wab.

I have a plan to make me rich,
By selling poems on the Interniche.

So, if you want to chat sometime,
My screenname's Mrs. Pepper-rhyme.

Mrs. Peppercorn's poetry does take some getting used to but, like warts, it grows on you.

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The Neck

As I mentioned above, Freddy the Pig is an accomplished poet. At the 2000 Friends of Freddy convention, I gave a talk. At the end of the talk, I read a poem I had written in the style of Freddy. I did the same thing at the 2004 convention, in both cases, the talks and the poems were well received.

If you are a Freddy fan, you will know that, over the years, he wrote a series of poems called "The Features", in which he discussed various parts of the body: the eyes, the ears, the teeth, the nose, the hair, and so on.

The poem I wrote for the 2004 convention, is called "The Neck". It is the one poem Freddy forgot to write. (So I had to do it for him.)

The Neck
by Freddy the Pig

It's nice to have a mouth and eyes
And noses can be fun,
But most important is the neck
(Of which we have but one).

It sits between the head and chest
Attaching north and south,
Between the shoulders (left and right)
And just below the mouth.

For shorter folks, the neck is great
Because it gives a gain in-
-height. And, without a neck, when you were mad
What would you get a pain in?

Like other things that we all need
Like ears and nose and eyes,
The neck works best when it's just right
The perfect neck-like size.

Giraffes, for instance, have too much
Their necks are so contrived,
While Mr. Webb (who has no neck)
Is really quite deprived.

So do not bend or pull your neck
Or squeeze it in a vice,
Don't let your neck get extra hot
Or frozen in the ice.

For if you didn't have a neck
You wouldn't get too far,
You head would fall and roll away
Each time you stopped the car.

Yes, it's nice to have a mouth and eyes
And noses can be fun,
But I maintain the neck is best
When all is said and done.

As I discussed above, Freddy is not the only poet in the Freddy books. Another character, Mrs. Peppercorn, writes poetry using a particularly gruesome style all her own. (She makes up her own, original rhymes.)

Here, then, is Mrs. Peppercorn's version of the same poem.

The Neck
by Mrs. Peppercorn

Without a neck your head would flop
Around— just like a noodle,
Your eyes would close, you mouth would gasp
You'd really be in trooble.

Your head would fall and get lumps, like porridge
You'd ail, and that's a fact,
There'd be no use in getting a Swedish mass-orridge
Or seeing the chiropract(or).

So if you ask, I'd say the neck's
My fav-o-rite appendage,
Of all the parts, the neck is best
Because it is stu-pendage.

So hail to you, oh neck of necks
The Queen of all the body,
When someone rubs you, I relax
Because it feels so naugh-dy.

Ode to Kurt Wiese

As a general rule, the Friends of Freddy have a convention in the fall of even-numbered years. However, in October of 2009, there was a special, one-time convention celebrating the 25th anniversary of the very first convention.

This special convention was held in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, to honor Kurt Wiese, the German-born illustrator of the Freddy books. In fact, if you have ever read a Freddy book, chances are your images of Freddy and his friends come from Wiese's drawings.

During the convention, I gave a talk, during which I read poems by Freddy and Mrs. Peppercorn (who made a practice of inventing her own rhymes).

Ode to Kurt Wiese (pronounced "Whee'zy")
by Freddy the Pig

Charles can always draw a crowd
When he begins to speak,
Although if he contracts a cold
His voice is but a creak.

The animals can all draw lots
When adventure they set out on,
And Jinx can draw an invisible chair
For Minx to sit and pout on.

When Percy smelled of cheap perfume
His daughter drew a bath,
He then no more smelled up the room
And, thusly, lost his wrath.

When I was dressed with cowboy hat
I tended to draw fire,
Ridin' round with this or that
While drawing Cal Flint's ire.


Of all the people I have known
Both serious and breezy,
The one who drew the most renown
Was artist Herr Kurt Wiese.

For drawing I admire Wiese
The best of all the leaders,
The one who most know how to please e-
normous groups of readers.

The thing about Herr Master Kurt
He made it look so easy,
And that is why — this very day —
We all salute Kurt Wiese.

There is, although, one thing I saw
That hit me where I sat,
Kurt Wiese had one tiny flaw:
He made me look too fat!

As I discussed above, Freddy is not the only poet in the Freddy books. Another character, Mrs. Peppercorn, writes poetry using a particularly gruesome style all her own. (She makes up her own, original rhymes.)

Here, then, is Mrs. Peppercorn's version of the same poem.

It's Easy With Wiese (pronounced "Whee'zy")
by Mrs. Peppercorn

Some art is large and some is small,
And some is quite invisi-ball.

Though some's low-brow and some is higher,
When it comes to art, I'm a connis-sigher.

Kurt Wiese is my favorite choice,
About him I'll make lots of noice.

What I like best about Kurt Wiese,
Is that his drawings are so please-y.


When I want something to touch my heart,
I spend my time with work by Kart.

Freddy Goes to Fresno

In March of 2011, and then October of 2019, Friends of Freddy conventions were held on the West Coast, in Fresno, California, the Raisin Capital of the World; the center of dried fruit and sweet wine industry, situated in the fertile, San Joaquin Valley of California.

This particular location was chosen so the convention could be held at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children Literature, on the campus of California State University at Fresno.

The Arne Nixon Center is the home of the Michael Cart Collection of Children's Literature. Michael Cart, a distinguished member of the Friends of Freddy, is one of foremost experts on children's literature in the United States.

In honor of these occasions, I read poems by both Freddy and Mrs. Peppercorn (who, as we all know, loves to invent her own rhymes).

Freddy Goes to Fresno (the Raisin Capital of the World)
by Freddy the Pig

I made up a plan that has caused me no harm,
I moved out to Fresno to start my own farm.

Yes, I'm Fresno Freddy, the scrourge of the West,
Tougher than nails, the best of the best,
Where all of the cowboys come out with guns blazin'
And all of the farms are growing the raisin.
But I did it different, with more on the ball,
Cause I'm Fresno Freddy, the best of them all.

Yes, all over Fresno, I'm the big boss,
Cause my farm makes money (with never a loss),
And what is my method? My own secret sauce?
Forget all the raisins -- I grow dental floss.

My dental floss farm is the talk of the town,
Stripping 'em up, and waxing them down.
If it sounds very good and has just the right ring,
It's cause I'm Fresno Freddy, the Dental Floss King.

And printed on top of each packet of floss,
You'll find a small po-em (cause I am the boss),
To make you feel happy wherever you roam,
Whenever your teeth find themselves far from home.


Perhaps you'll think it's magic
Not to mention other adjec-
-tives that, when food is stuck
Like a water-logged truck
Your "Freddy's Fabulous Curly-Tailed Floss"
Will never leave you at a loss
The best you'll ever come across
(I know because I am the boss).

It's true that...

Freddy's Famous Floss is grand
And so to you I do bequeath
The very best thing to have in hand
When there's raisin's in your teeth.

Because I'm Fresno Freddy, the scrourge of the West,
Tougher than nails, the best of the best,

My Visit to Freddy's Dental Floss Farm
by Mrs. Peppercorn

Some farms are large and some are small,
And some are quite invisi-ball.

I don't understand all this fuss about raisins,
They're takin' up land where the cows should be grazins.

All I can say is, "What a mess, though--
What can you expect from a porker in Fres-no?"

You can talk and can talk from the ev'ning till morn,
But I am the o-rig-i-nal Peppercorn.

If Freddy had asked me, I'd'a told him straight out,
You can't grow good floss where the summer's a drought.

For a pig that we all thought was s'possed to be brainy,
You'd think that he'd'a chosen a place that was rainy.

I know that I'm right, and I don't give a darn,
'Cause you know, that I know, I'm Miz Peppercarn.

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