This LI’L Piggy

“Find the Fifth Pig” was a fun little fold-up that had a lot in common with those eccentric, homegrown cartoons that make their way through offices and organizations around the world. Legend has it that the British office of special operations created it to boost morale. If so, then the concept was a complete success: the original cartoon and various offshoots started turning up all over. There were even foreign-language versions that spread beyond the British Isles to European neighbors who were forced to live under Nazi occupation and were more than receptive to a cutting joke at the führer’s expense.

The flier arrived as a flat piece of paper with cartoonish drawings of four pigs toward its corners. Directions guided the holder to make a series of folds that transformed the four little pigs into what one version of the handout termed “the biggest pig of all.”

Of course, one man’s biggest pig was not necessarily another’s. The Greeks produced their own version of the mud-slinging puzzle after Italy invaded their homeland; the series of folds revealed the less-than-beloved face of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Carl Zebrowski is the managing editor of America in WWII.This article originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of the magazine. Order a copy of this issue now.

Images: The "Find the Fifth Pig" handout in its unfolded and folded states.


Image credits: America in WWII collection


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