When I was a child in the late 70s (possibly early 80s?) I used to watch a show where a man would draw a picture while a fiction story was read.

I can only recall a single story, but it was about a man who died and was cremated. He ended up in Hell attached to a pig (it turns out his ashes were mixed with a pig's ashes) so he spent years picking out and separating the pig bone ashes from his own in order to get separated from the pig.

Eventually this man's maid died and ended up in Hell as well. She sees the two piles of ashes and sweeps them away, effectively mixing them again and he ends up re-attached to the pig.

I don’t know why this story stood out but that’s all I recall.

  • Could you try to add a more descriptive and 'searchable' title please?
    – Möoz
    Oct 12, 2014 at 21:12
  • If you haven't yet, maybe you should try in Movies StackExchange
    – Kreann
    Oct 12, 2014 at 22:16

3 Answers 3


Drawing together @LewDelport and @Zimul8r's excellent answers, the TV show you're referring to is episode 10 of "Cover to Cover" with John Robbins.

The story in question is Natalie Babbitt's 'Ashes'. The show contained several stories from her collected works 'The Devil's Storybook".

You can read the show synopsis here

  • Weirdly coincidence, I was thinking about this very book lately and considering asking about it here! It was the story about the baby who was actually an imp in disguise that had stuck in my mind.
    – Viergacht
    Oct 14, 2014 at 11:07
  • @lewdelport - Congratulations go to the posters above. They did the legwork.
    – Valorum
    Oct 14, 2014 at 11:28
  • yes this is it thanks!
    – Don
    Oct 17, 2014 at 18:28
  • there were lots of great stories and I really enjoyed watching him draw the scenery to the story. Nothing like that on today thanks to everyone!
    – Don
    Oct 17, 2014 at 18:30

This appears to be the story "Ashes" by Natalie Babbitt, published in the anthology "The Devil's Storybook". However, I cannot find any evidence of it ever being televised...

"This place is a mess", said the housemaid.

And she swept the two piles into one pile, swept the one pile into her dustpan, carried it all out, and buried it by the gates.

All Bezzle ever knew was that one minute the ashes were gone and the next minute the pig was back full time. Still, after a while, when the first rude shock had worn away, he grew resigned to having the pig around. They were together day and night, after all, and there was nothing for it but to make do.

  • You were correct. See my answer below.
    – Valorum
    Oct 13, 2014 at 21:26

There look like two candidates: Cover to Cover and Pappyland.

John Robbins, who did Cover to Cover, had several shows in the vein over the years.

  • Pappyland was a children's show. I don't think it's likely to have a hell-themed horror story
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2014 at 21:22
  • According to the wiki page for Cover to Cover, it was also sometimes known as "Readit", "Storybound", and "The Book Bird"--this youtube channel has samples of "The Book Bird", Don could try watching one to see if the look is familiar even if they don't have the story he remembers.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 12, 2014 at 22:35
  • You might be surprised, Richard. I'm pretty sure I read that pig story in one of those "Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark" books, and those are for very young readers.
    – Viergacht
    Oct 13, 2014 at 9:41
  • You were correct. See my answer below.
    – Valorum
    Oct 13, 2014 at 21:24

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