Babe: Pig in the City is showing in Prospect Park next month. But you don’t have to wait that long to see an urban ungulate. There’s a piglet named Giblet roaming the streets of the East Village and beyond.
He seems to enjoy strolls around Tompkins Square Park, getting his head stuck in Cheerios boxes, and crossing the street with elegance and poise.
To be honest, since his first Instashot a little over a year ago (posing with none other than Hilary Duff), the piglet has grown into a full-sized pig, larger than most of the neighborhood dogs that approach him in a state of confusion, not really knowing what to make of him.
With 6,463 followers on Instagram, the mottled pink-and-black pet is not yet a celebrity, but with each new video and post, he’s one step closer to becoming a neighborhood fixture a la Queelin, the Manhattan-based pig who in 2014 modeled for the cover of a children’s book titled The New Yorker Porker.
Giblet’s adventures are simple and wonderfully enchanting: Giblet, in a stroller, encounters a dog in a stroller; Giblet fondly eats a castoff sandwich (followers were left wondering if it was ham and cheese); Giblet meets a famous cockatoo. Just the other day, Giblet was dozing off and fell out of bed, landing with a soft thud on a smaller cushion on the floor. “I try to live life on the edge and then shit like this happens. (I’m okay 🐷),” Giblet wrote on his Instagram account.
Last November, Giblet turned one. Friends and neighbors got together at The Grey Dog on Carmine Street and scribbled celebratory remarks on a large white canvas with a photo of when he was a baby in the middle. “Giblet, you’re so cute… You’re bacon [sic] my heart! Lol, just a little birthday humor!” signed off one of his fans.
Could it be that at least one of the event’s attendees ordered burgers with bacon on them? That’s what an employee of The Grey Dog told us she heard from a colleague at the time, but we were unable to locate a witness to confirm it.
Giblet’s owner, a soft-mannered man who likes taking lopsided smiling selfies with his beloved pet, declined to talk to B+B. He said he and Giblet just didn’t “do that stuff,” and that “the only reason his Instagram has followers is because of a couple of viral videos.”
One of these videos is from a month ago and has been played almost 17k times. In it, Giblet trots away into a building corridor, grunting and wagging his tail. “Running to greet all of my new followers… Thanks for the love y’all, Giblet loves you!” he said. In another, the pig and his owner just stare in contentment at the camera. There isn’t much action going on, honestly. And that’s ok.
Because he wouldn’t agree to an interview, so many questions are left unanswered. Why did he get a pig? Where did he get a pig? Is he vegetarian? Did he become vegetarian after the fact? What adventures lie in store for Giblet?
More importantly, is he aware that pet pigs are banned in the city due to a provision of the city health code that prohibits “all even-toed ungulates,” such as “deer, antelope, sheep, pigs, including pot bellied pigs, goats, cattle, giraffe and hippopotamus”? (The list of forbidden animals, by the way, extends far beyond the “even-toed ungulates” and encompasses venomous insects and spiders, all large rodents, elephants, marsupials, and “all odd-toed ungulates” other than domesticated horses, just to name a few).
For the time being, though, even cops want to have their picture taken with Giblet (that video has more than 107,000 views) and the porcine pleaser makes new fans every day.
“I saw a man walking a pig in New York City. This is my story,” posted @chiokenassor after seeing the spotted pig and its owner walk past the Lebanese restaurant Au Za’atar. That was all there was to the story. It is, after all, just a pig.