The Marzipan Pig

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First edition (publ. Jonathan Cape)

The Marzipan Pig (1986, ISBN 0-374-34859-6) is a children's book by Russell Hoban. The plot involves a marzipan pig that has somehow fallen behind a couch. The pig laments being forgotten and as dust begins to cover him, he remains hopeful about someone discovering him. When he is eventually found (and eaten) by a mouse, parts of his personality are transferred to the mouse. The mouse in turn, falls in love with a nearby grandfather clock and comes to visit each night. The clock, of course, cannot reciprocate the mouse's love. One night the mouse leaves never to come back. The clock suddenly feels the loss of her, and desperately awaits her return, finally knowing both tight loneliness and cold emptiness. She does not come back and when he is next wound up, his spring breaks.

The mouse, unbeknownst to the clock, had been eaten by an owl outside. The owl falls in love with a lighted taxi meter and dances for rides. Where the mouse was eaten, a little pink flower grows up. A bee drinks the nectar, and then sleeps late, the next night showing affection to a dying hibiscus flower. A rather snooty white mouse thinks she'd be better at being a hibiscus and uses the dead petals of the hibiscus to make a dress, she then tries to hang on the plant, but it makes her fall outside, into a postman's bag, then is thrown right into the owl, and then ran into the house, she found in a package a new marzipan pig is delivered to the house - one without any knowledge of love or loneliness. The mouse eats the new marzipan pig, however, she fell asleep, the little boy who lived in the house opened the package (the day was his birthday) and found the mouse, the mouse then ran back into the mouse hole. The boy told his mother that he saw a mouse in a pink dress, though his mother never believed him. The mouse is not eaten by the owl. The mouse instead dances outside in the moonlight.

The story has been adapted in an animated version, produced and directed by Michael Sporn.[1] The adaptation was animated by Tissa David and narrated by Tim Curry. It was aired on HBO as part of their HBO Storybook Musicals series.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sporn, Michael. "Russell Hoban 1925-2011". Retrieved 20 December 2011.