Kids Consult with City Official, Hijinks Ensue

Photos by Robin Seeley  The three little cooks: Abby, Roan and Leila, happily pose with their construction projects before the Big, Bad Wolf’s visit to their houses made of straw (shredded wheat), sticks (pretzels) and bricks (Bazooka bubble gum)

Kids Consult with City Official, Hijinks Ensue


A beloved old tale cautions children about the perils of poor construction. If the “Three Little Pigs” had only consulted with Alameda Building Official Gregory J. McFann, they’d have known that buildings made of straw and sticks don’t pass muster. McFann was kind enough to confirm this fact for us when we inquired. He also noted that properly constructed buildings made of brick can and do pass inspection.

Armed with this geeky tidbit, the kids of the Culinary Academy of Post Street conducted a hands-on study of edible architecture. Appropriately enough, Abby, Roan and Leila began by reading a book.

Everyone knows the story of the “Three Little Pigs.” The first pig built his house of straw, the second used sticks, and the third chose bricks. Enter the Big, Bad Wolf. He huffed and he puffed and he blew the first two houses down. But the brick house stood firm and saved all three pigs from peril. At least, that’s the version with the happy ending. Others have the wolf gobbling up the first two little pigs after blowing down their flimsy homes. Getting the death penalty for shoddy construction seemed kind of harsh to us.

The kids used tiny houses made of graham crackers to create their own tasty tale. For the straw then stuck on shredded wheat. Voil‡, a house of straw! They used skinny little pretzels to make a house of sticks. Finally, they took advantage of Bazooka Bubblegum’s uncanny resemblance to pink brick to construct sturdy little homes of which even our mentor, McFann, would approve. 

It’s important to remember the real point of the pig tale: priorities! The lazy little porkers who quickly and carelessly built homes of straw and sticks had it all wrong. They gave their construction projects short shrift in order to spend time frolicking and cavorting instead. 

The third pig understood the importance of forgoing immediate gratification in order to achieve long-term goals like safe housing. The bricklaying pig’s patience and perseverance make him a role model for kids and animals alike.


Photos by Robin Seeley Abby and Roan are understandably upset after the Big Bad Wolf blew their houses down, while Leila can be proud of how her little brick house did not sustain any damage.


Robin Seeley holds a license to hunt big, bad wolves.