Once upon a time, in a strange land called Texas, the author Lee Volpe went to the hairdresser and came home with a pig. “Most people come home with a perm,” she quips. Small enough to fit in her cupped hands, she named him Officer the Mini Pig. Seven years and 100 pounds later, Volpe’s bristly and boar-toothed bedfellow (yes, he sleeps in the bed) is her constant hoggish companion, riding boats in Wisconsin, living it up at the Red Roof Inn, eating bananas from Starbucks, chasing golfers off the neighboring greens and, in a recent development, writing children’s books. The first in a planned trilogy of ‘Pig Tales,’ This is Me stars a baby Officer, bullied and searching for a place where he belongs, meeting friendly animals along the way and traveling from the ocean to the moon in his quest for family. And while the now-vegan Volpe may do most of the writing, with Officer curled up at her feet and smiling in his sleep, it’s his unapologetic and off-kilter charm that remains her inspiration. “This is him,” she says. “There’s not one thing
I would change about him.”

AUTHOR LEE VOLPE AND OFFICER THE MINI PIG, PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN