What was this story? (pig impersonator)

I heard a story once, and I think it’s from some famous source, but I can’t remember what the source is.

The story has it that an entertainer came to a small town, and was drawing a crowd. The entertainer’s schtick was doing impressions of various animals: He made a whinnying sound, and the audience all agreed that he sounded exactly like a real horse, and then he made a mooing sound, and everyone agreed that he sounded just like a cow, and so on. Finally, he oinked like a pig, and one member of the audience, a farmer, exclaimed that that was nothing like what a pig really sounded like. No, this is what a pig sounds like. The townsfolk all laughed at the farmer’s feeble attempt which sounded nothing at all like a pig, and so the farmer revealed that he had a real pig hidden under his coat, and that it was the pig that made the sound, not him. At which point, of course, the townsfolk ran the farmer out of town, and continued listening to the “realistic” entertainer.

I want to say that this was one of Aesop’s fables, except of course that the main characters are humans, and I don’t think Aesop ever had human characters. And it’s always possible that it’s a new story, just with a veneer of antiquity painted over it by the teller. But it has to have been from somewhere.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that story in folklore collections, which means there’s a no definitive source, just passed down and embellished by tale-tellers over the years.

The concern with “authenticity” and the cynicism about what sort of entertainment people prefer, makes the story sound quite modern. I’d be amazed if it dates back more than a few decades.

It is indeed one of Aesop’s fables, or at least, has been published as such—the link (IIUC) says that it was included in the Aesop’s fables published in the Harvard Classics series of books.

I’m amazed. :o

Huh, it looks like my summary of the story actually turned out to be longer than the original. And I guess I must have made up the townsfolk running the farmer out after the reveal.

Sherrerd, people have never really changed. Nearly any social issue that’s relevant now has also been relevant at many times in the past.

Or the version you read added that embellishment, to drive the point home even more.