‘If pigs could fly’ is of course the standard declaration of scepticism, however in my quest to document some of our local Somerset magical creatures, it has come to my attention that the little village of High Ham, a mere 3 miles from here as the pig flies, cannot have got its name for no reason.
This being the case, how is it that we refuse to believe that pigs can fly? The confusion may lie in a misunderstanding of pigs’ wings, always shown in fanciful drawings as exactly like birds’ wings, stuck on a pig. This is of course quite impossible. Birds wings are their front limbs; a four legged creature cannot also have birds wings. (This incidentally is also the problem that presents itself when trying to draw an accurate dragon: it simply doesn’t, anatomically, work).
Then there is the problem of the slightly un-aerodynamic shape of pigs. Logic tells us that they couldn’t fly.
The two problems are neatly solved with the realization that there is another creature that clearly cannot fly, and yet observably does: the bumblebee. The bumblebee is of course completely incapable of flight: nothing that large and furry could possibly get off the ground with wings the size with which it is equipped. The bumblebee cannot fly, however, it doesn’t realize this, so it flies regardless. Furthermore, a bumblebee has plenty of legs, and in addition it also has wings.
Yesterday I went in search of some pigs to test my theory. Without ever having to leave the village I found plenty.
I found old fat pigs:
And then I found young sprightly pigs:
And then, with a mere leap of faith I found flying pigs:
…but the last one flew off before I had a chance to draw her wings properly: