A man comes home from work one day to discover that his daughter has found God.

Are you kidding me? he says. What are you talking about? You were always such a rational person.


The members of the family sit down to dinner.

You really think there is a God? the man says.

Why not? says his daughter. Why on earth not? What reason is there to believe that there isn’t?

The man looks at her.

I can’t help but think, he says, that if there were a God, he’d give us some kind of sign.

At that very moment a statue of a pig suddenly materializes in the middle of the dining room table.

See? the man’s daughter says, pointing at the pig. See? See? See?


The man’s family bursts into action-- making calls, telling the neighbors, taking pictures.

Only the man does not move from his place. He simply sits there and stares at the pig. After a while, he reaches out and gently touches one of its legs.

It’s perfectly solid-- probably wood-- and made (he thinks) in a rather crude fashion.

The man looks up at the ceiling, half-hoping to see some gaping hole through which it could have fallen. Then he peers under the table for hidden mechanisms, like he read about once in a book on séances.

But there’s nothing to find, wherever he looks, so the man just sits there and frowns.

Then he gets up and goes into the other room and sits down and turns on the television.


The days go by. The house is crowded with pilgrims. People from other cities, other lands. They stand in the man’s dining room and stare at the pig. Some claim that it speaks to them; others cry for joy.

But the man just stands there, arms crossed over his chest. He doesn’t believe even a single word.

How can you not believe? all the pilgrims say. It happened right there in front of you!

I believe something happened, yes, the man says. But I don’t know what it was, or why.

The pilgrims regard him with wide, confused eyes. Then they shake their heads and walk away.


At night, the man lies in bed with his wife.

Can’t you at least try to believe? she says.

I try every day, the man says to her.

Do you really? says his wife. Really?

Well, says the man, after a while, let’s just say I wonder.

You should wonder harder, the man’s wife says. It would make you a happier person.

The man lies there in silence and stares at the ceiling.

You think I’m unhappy? he says.


The next day the man sits at the table with the pig.

All right, God, he says, if you exist, show me one more sign with this pig thing.

And he sits there all day-- waiting, waiting-- waiting for the pig to do something.


What are you doing, Dad? the man’s daughter says, when she gets home later from school.

Nothing, says the man.

He looks rather sheepish. He takes the pig off the table and goes into his study.

There he locks the door, puts the pig on the floor, and kneels down right in front of it.

Come on, pig, he says. Come on; it’s just us. Make me believe. Make me happy. Please.


Late that night a knock comes on the study door.

Honey? says the man’s wife. Are you in there?

Yes, says the man, but please, leave me alone. I’m in here with the pig.

The man’s wife hesitates.

But we miss you, she says. And also the pig.

You don’t need the pig, the man says, you have God. And I’ll be out when I’m done. I promise I will.

There’s silence, and then the man’s wife walks away.


Days go by, then weeks and months, and then, eventually, years. The man’s beard grows gray, and very, very long. His eyes dim, his bones weaken, his muscles atrophy.

The man sits and sits and stares at the pig.

But the pig says nothing, reveals nothing. Nothing, nothing at all.

There’s no sign. No sign of a sign.

And the man grows very old.


And then-- finally-- after what seems like a lifetime, the man gives a sigh and stands up.

There is no God, he says, that much is certain. And what’s more, I miss my wife and children.

He turns and walks to the study door, unlocks it and opens it up. The hallway outside is very, very dark. He peers down in the direction of the living room.

The entire house seems strangely silent.

Maybe they’re asleep, the man thinks.

And he starts off quietly down the hall.

Behind him, the pig rises to its feet.