MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Last Tuesday (June 20), the students of Fulmar Road Elementary School gathered around the pavilion on the school lawn and began to chant.
“Kiss the pig! Kiss the pig! Kiss the pig!”
Some of the students were even wearing plastic pig noses.
The occasion? The students were there to watch Fulmar Principal Gary Chadwick literally kiss a pig. He promised the student body at the beginning of the school year that if they all read “Charlotte’s Web,” which features the pig protagonist Wilbur, he would literally plant a smooch on a porcine partner. The kids met the challenge and Chadwick was a man of his word.
“As you remember, I promised to kiss a pig if everyone did their reading,” Chadwick told the audience. “I don’t think a day has gone by when one of you hasn’t said, ‘You better kiss that pig!’ I’m thankful that all of you took the time to read ‘Charlotte’s Web.’”
“Charlotte’s Web” was part of the school’s One School, One Book program.
The pig, named Frankie, was provided by Two by Two Petting Zoo from Pleasant Valley in Dutchess County. Frankie seemed a little less enthusiastic about the prospect of a kiss than his human counterparts, but gamely repeated the act with Chadwick so photographers could capture the moment.
Two by Two helped make the day even more special by bringing a menagerie of animals to the school, including some goats, two ring-tailed lemurs, a kangaroo, and in keeping with the literary theme, a tortoise and a hare.