HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An adorable new addition can be found roaming the halls of Longleaf Elementary School. Last month the school welcomed Willow, an eight-week-old miniature potbelly pig.
"Last year was our first year open and we wanted to do some things that had not been done at other schools," said Angela McCarty, principal. "So we came up with the concept of the chicken coop."
The chickens, Adam and Eve, quickly became valuable learning tools for the students. The kids watched the eggs hatch and did writing projects and science lessons related to them.
Next came Clover, a bunny. And then a few weeks ago, Willow joined the farm.
"February was reading month and so we decided we could try a miniature pig because we were going 'hog wild' for reading," said McCarty. "And we wanted to give out 'hogs and kisses'."
Willow adjusted quickly to life at the school and enjoys time outside, too. Students are allowed to take Willow and Clover home on the weekends, continuing the lesson in responsibility. One lucky student even spent the entire spring break with the curly tailed creature.
"You have to feed her, water her, take her out, and put her to bed," said Aidan Williams, a second grader.
Willow is not only teaching the kids, but she's learning, too. The little piggy already knows how to sit and is continuing to learn new tricks.