Trying to find a rather silly short story, or the collection it was in:

A pair of priests come to a village, where a female pig is apparently possessed by the devil. The sow committed a number of heinous acts, including eating her own piglets, and when they confront the sow, she chases them up a tree.

However, by dangling a cross on a cord from the tree they succeed in exorcising her, and she becomes the most virtuous and pure pig ever known. She apparently also performs some miracles and is later elevated to sainthood, thought the story does not go into many details.

This was in a collection of short fantasy stories by different authors, I think the title of the collection was "Fantastic Stories" or something similar, and the cover was purple-ish or blue without any images. I believe I read it 20 years ago, in a library, in German.

The book contained another story, about a boy going into the woods to drink from a creek, whereupon a strange poem about a "communion" resounds in the air.

I would be happy to find either of these stories, ideally the whole collection this was contained in.


1 Answer 1


"Saint Katy the Virgin"

Roark is a bad man. His pig is a bad pig. They match in devilish temperament and violent deeds. Roark laughs at a drowned monk; his pig eats its own young and turns a boar sterile. As a spiteful tithe, the pig is given to the local monastery. The pig becomes a Christian. The pig is Saint Katy the Virgin. Fantastical and farcical, this short story parodies religious tropes and stereotypes. With a lively imagination and piercing wit, John Steinbeck delivers an absurd tale that amuses and entertains whilst asking powerful, revealing questions.

You can find the text in Google Books. You can find a listing of books that contained it in its ISFDB.org entry. There is one collection in German, Traumwelten: Nobelpreisträger schreiben Fantasy-Geschichten which does have a purple cover. It's named Nobel Stories in the English translation and Google Translate claims that the German title is roughly Dream Worlds: Nobel Laureates write fantasy stories. I'm not certain which story was the one of the boy and the creek.

Book cover

  • 1
    This is some amazing detective work! the short story is definitely the right one. I have not been able to confirm the identity of the German collection; all stories from the collection for which I could find a description appear unfamiliar, and none of the titles of the other stories seem to match. Perhaps there was another collection from the same producer. I may have to purchase a copy of the book to be certain. Nevertheless, this has been a huge help, thanks a lot!
    – HugoRune
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 21:54
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    Truth be told, the "Saint Katy" title came up a few pages into me Googling short story pig canonized. It took me a bit longer to confirm the details (it's apparently a fairly obscure Steinbeck story) and like I said, there was only one German-language title for it on isfdb.org. :) Elementary stuff, ultimately. I just lucked into the right keywords.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 2:23

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