The first three chapters of A Day No Pigs Would Die are significant because, as in most fiction works, they set the tone and introduce the elements which will create the drama and tension in the story. Some of those things include:
- a foundational knowledge of the Shaker lifestyle and belief system
- Robert's attitude about life, animals, and the Shaker lifestyle
- the gift of a pig in exchange for the birthing of a calf (allowing the second to be born, as well) and saving the life of the cow
- the dynamics of Rob and his family as well as the resentment he feels because his family is poor.
Readers are exposed to the rigors of both farm life and Shaker life from virtually the first words of chapter one, and, by the end of chapter three, Rob is healthy and summer is waiting.