Roxbury elementary students "pig out" on reading assignment


By Trish Adams

Roxbury Central School Principal Tom O’Brien had a hot date with a celebrity pig last Thursday, since he promised to kiss Daisy the Pot-Bellied Pig five times if the elementary children at RCS would read a total of 100,000 minutes during “For the Love of Books” month, with extra kisses for extra minutes. So Principal O’Brien was well fortified with flowers and mouthwash, because the kids had gone hog wild and read a total of more than 145,000 minutes. 

Actually, by the time Farmer Minor had told the story of Daisy, the runt of her litter, and how cute and scared she’d been as a tiny piglet, everyone at the assembly wanted to give Daisy some love. And, for a pot-bellied pig, 13-year-old Daisy is practically svelte, weighing a mere 116 pounds. Farmer Minor contrasted that with the biggest pig of all time, Big Bill, who weighed more than a ton and was nine-feet long! 

At her farm home in Bristol, CT, Daisy sleeps with Farmer Minor and Mrs. Minor every night, nestled under the covers with the cat (who thinks she’s a pig) and the pug (who thinks Daisy is his mom). Daisy has traveled far and wide (even to Capitol Hill!) to spread enthusiasm for reading among children everywhere. She has dozens and dozens of library cards, more than any human she knows. Daisy’s favorite volumes all involve a porcine hero or heroine, and Farmer Minor read the true story of Little Flower, a pig who saved his owner’s life, to everyone at the assembly. OK, Daisy might have dozed a bit during the reading, but after all, she’s heard the story many times before.

Chants of “Kiss the Pig!” were heard throughout the RCS halls before Daisy’s appearance, but most students lined up to give Daisy a peck or a pet after they met her. “This was a wonderful motivation to help kids focus on the joy of books and to turn off the TV a little more often,” said RCS Librarian Maria Johnson.