The Pigman Questions and Answers
by Paul Zindel

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In Zindel's The Pigman, why doesn't Lorraine like the Baron Park Zoo?

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Lorraine is nervous to be skipping school to meet John and Mr. Pignati at the zoo. She's also feeling a bit guilty because she and John had conned him out of $10.00 for a fake charity. In fact, John argued that they should go to the zoo in order to make up for the con. So, Lorraine isn't at the zoo without some burdens on her shoulders. Additionally, it's not that Lorraine hates the zoo at first, but she is a little superstitious when she witnesses three events that she calls omens.

First, she doesn't trust Mr. Pignati's enthusiasm for their day at the zoo. She says, "I felt sorry for the old man because people just don't go around smiling like that all the time" (57). Her next clue that the day was not going to be a good one was when the lady selling peanuts seemed to be "antagonistic" (58). Lorraine thinks she should have left right after the experience with the peanut lady because that was the first bad omen.

The second bad omen is when she is "attacked" by a peacock. Mr. Pignati says that the bird simply likes her and she shouldn't be scared, though. The bird terrifies her as follows:

"This low-IQ peacock came tearing after me as soon as it heard me open my bag of peanuts. They let them run around loose at Baron Park Zoo, and this white one opened up all its feathers and started dancing in front of me and backing me up against a fence" (58).

The final bad omen is when Lorraine visits the nocturnal room and sees a ten year-old kid looking at people's reflections as they walk in. When she walks up to look at the bats, this kid watches her with a smirk on his face. She explains:

"He made me feel as though I was a bat in a cage and he was on the outside looking at me. It all made me very nervous" (59).

By the end of the story, though, the worst tragedy happens at the zoo. While visiting it again with Mr. Pignati, the three friends discover that Bobo the baboon has died. This upsetting news throws the old man into another heart attack and he dies right there at the zoo. That's enough for anyone to hate going to that zoo ever again.

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