The piggies dress up for holidays and school events, and even participate in storytime.
Priscilla and Poppleton — or Prissy and Pop for short — have been in the first grade at Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, for quite some time. All told, the adorable mini pigs have been going to school with their owner, teacher Melissa Nicholson, every day for nearly four years. And by the look of it, they’ve enjoyed every second of it.
Nicholson documents the well-heeled adventures of her studious swine on Instagram, and has amassed more than 650,000 devoted followers in just a few short years. With the help of their devoted owner, the piggies dress up for holidays and school events, and even participate in storytime.
"The kids take turns feeding them snacks and they just really love them," Nicholson, who has been teaching for 20 years, told Today Parents. "They like reading to them and I really think it’s just something different and fun for them."
Nicholson says she first became a pig person in college when, as a student at the University of Alabama, she got to hold day-old baby piglets at a friend’s farm. Then, in 2013 she came across mini pigs for sale on Facebook. She jokingly asked the principal if one of them could be her new class pet, and was shocked when her boss replied with an enthusiastic “Sure!”
"It's hard to put into words," said Nicholson. "But the kids get really attached to them...it teaches them compassion and understanding, and it's a way for them to get to experience taking care of another living thing."
Nicholson, who has two other mini pigs at home, says she feels privileged to work at a school that allows her to bring her pigs with her each day.
"Everyone has been really enthusiastic and welcoming of them," she notes Nicholson.
Prissy and Pop have also starred in two children's books, Prissy & Pop: Big Day Out and Prissy and Pop Deck the Halls. And, according to Today, Nicholson plans to offer math and reading summer camps featuring the pigs this summer.