How Pigs Fly

‘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 thatΒ  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:

Old Fat Pigs
Old Fat Pigs

And then I found young sprightly pigs:

Young Sprightly Pigs
Young Sprightly Pigs

And then, with a mere leap of faith I found flying pigs:

Flying Pig 1
Flying Pig 1
Flying Pig 2
Flying Pig 2

…but the last one flew off before I had a chance to draw her wings properly:

Flying Pig 3
Flying Pig 3


  1. Brilliant! Some pigs are actually stripy like a bee, too. (How can a word like stripy sound so right and look so wrong?)

    1. because it should be stripey – the dictionary is wrong πŸ˜‰

  2. I am so pleased to have found out how High Ham got its name… πŸ™‚ Such lovely pigs, flying or otherwise

    1. Pleased to enlighten you, Wendy! and thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Ha ha. So lovely and fanciful!

    1. Thank you Mrs Daffodil! πŸ™‚

  4. Really awesome pig sketches, the flying ones are brilliant!

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  5. Absolutely gorgeous

    1. Thank you Rosie πŸ™‚

  6. […] sketches and explanations for these appeared three posts back in How Pigs Fly. Here is the finished painting, and I have broken away from the one colour at last! (The last 3 […]

  7. […] does a mere 2 miles or so as the pig flies. I already covered some of the technicalities of ‘How Pigs Fly‘ in one of my blog posts on this painting, and you can also see a few technical details of […]

  8. Ruth Hardman

    Absolutely wonderful! Maybe “Dave” would like one???

    1. Thank you! …um, which Dave?

      1. Ruth Hardman

        Mr “call me Dave” Cameron!!!

        1. LOL ah I see what you mean. My pigs, however, aren’t ever involved in any ‘funny business with MPs’ πŸ˜‰

          1. Ruth Hardman

            Glad you liked my joke and no funny business with your little piggies

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