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Students from kindergarten to college were excited weeks ahead of time about the arrival of the slam-dunking, skateboarding porkers. The act was amusing, amazing, with a little bit of education thrown in. Pig facts, responsible pet ownership, and the contributions that animals make to society were explained, as the children actually got to interact with the pigs, after the trick portion. The audience was allowed to "meet and greet" the porksters, and because the students got into each pigs separate personality, this was a big smash. It's a "hams-on experience" and everyone got to pet an oinker !

During the energetic trick portion of the act, the kids seemed mesmerized, and their eyes often got as big as saucers. Some students even got to come up on stage and play catch with porcine star, "Nellie". Students were the porkers biggest fans, and they would be talking about the swiners' antics weeks after they performed, too. Priscilla Valentine was a former high school English teacher, and loved returning to the schools with her porky troop. The pigs were perfect for large assemblies and PTA meetings, or hilarious "kiss a pig" events, where the principal and teachers often did the honors if the children reach their book reading or other goals. The snouty athletes were also ideal for fundraisers.

No act was more popular and enlightening!



Snort Flies

Honking Porky


Renton Reporter


October 16, 2004 - Fernan and Hayden Lake students watch famous potbellied swine dance, bowl and catch a Frisbee

By Linda Ball

Who says pigs can't fly?

Students at Fernan and Hayden Lake Elementary schools were treated to a special performance of Valentines Performing Pigs last week, in assemblies at their respective schools.

Steve and Priscilla Valentine, of Gig Harbor, Wash., brought their famous pigs to town while on a 30-day tour. These potbellied pigs, also called Chinese miniature pigs, have appeared on "Donahue," "The Today Show," "Animal Planet," The Discovery Channel, "America's Greatest Pets," "Good Morning America," "Late Night with David Letterman," the BBC and "Oprah."

Hayden Lake Elementary principal Kathleen Kuntz told her students that, as a reward for all their hard work, including SATs only one month into school, they deserved a break. First to perform was Snort, the Valentines' current male, or boar, star. Snort performed a round dance, caught a Frisbee disc (sort of in slow motion), jumped through a hoop, and pushed a little car Ð even honking the horn Ð much to the delight of the kids.

"How does Snort keep so slim?" Priscilla asked. Why, of course, he does step-aerobics. On that cue, Snort steps up and down on a little step.

Petunia, a 1-year-old sow, was up next. Petunia enjoys helping around the home, the Valentines said, as she pushed a little lawn mower. Then she defied gravity by jumping through a little hoop.

Nelly, billed as the world's best-known trick pig, lives to perform, according to her trainers. With a little help from fourth-grader Arionna Randolph, Nelly launches a small ball for Arionna to catch. Nelly also performs bowling feats and, keeping with an educational theme, spells out H-A-M with letters, showing the kids that even she knows the importance of reading and writing.

The hardest trick for Nelly was putting a golf ball into the hole. After several attempts she was successful. The Valentines inform the students that she is a member of the "LPIG."

"It was fun!" Arionna said of playing ball with Nelly. Her classmates, Jennifer Costa, Latona Frey and Gabby Hoots, thought the performances by all the pigs were "great" and "cool," and Gabby was relieved that Arionna wasn't at all nervous.

The miniature pigs all have straight tails, and like man's best friend, when they are happy, their tails wag. Snort, Petunia and Nelly, who have their own bedrooms in the Valentines' home, are definitely living high on the hog, because their little tails were wagging all the time.

At the end of the performance, they took a bow, which is hard to do with their short legs.

"You always have to stay a step ahead of them," said Steve Valentine, "because they're so smart."

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