1. The digit on the floor is the third “piggy”, as the middle toe is referred to in the well-known children‘s rhyme:

    This little piggy went to market,
    This little piggy stayed home,
    This little piggy had roast beef,†
    This little piggy had none,
    And this little piggy went
    “wee!, wee!, wee!”
    All the way home!

    P.S. † Or optionally “beast”, especially if the reader is a Grinch.

  2. But if the little piggy already had roast beef, why does the butcher assume it wants more? Maybe it just came in to buy some musteard or horse radish or a side of potato salad or something.

  3. Shrug: That’s probably the only thing it ever orders, day in, day out.

    When I first saw this, last week, that kiddy poem never crossed my mind. I thought it was a thumb, and that it had something to do with a crooked butcher, putting his thumb on the scale (to increase the reported weight of the meat).

  4. Surely everyone here remembers the Geico ad with the piggy sticking his head out of the car window shouting “Wee wee wee”?

  5. The rhyme doesn’t say how often or when the piggy had roast beef. 🙂 For all we know the comic may be illustrating the one occasion mentioned.

  6. Interesting question, Voodoo Chicken. Do we have any expert phalangeologists in the house? After mistakenly thinking it was meant to be a thumb (and to invoke the “thumb on the scales” idiom), once it had to be taken as a toe for the piggy rhyme I still saw it as a thumb-toe, a big toe. The big toe, like the hand thumb, has two bones, unlike the other toes and fingers, which have three. But can we tell from this illustration?

  7. Though I see I may be missing the main rationale for VC’s suggestion: the story is that the first little piggy went to market, and the scene we are given is explicitly at a market so-named.

  8. Finger may not be a thumb. And the finger/thumb maybe there to buy the roast beef as it has not yet had any.

    Or it could be a thumb looking to get a job weighing down a scale to help the butcher make money.

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