The two finally decide to head in, and on the way toward the house, they run into Haven putting his tools away in the barn. After a long day's work, everything is in its proper place. "Papa," Robert says, "of all the things in the world to see, I reckon the heavens at sundown has got to be my favorite sight." His father agrees that heaven is a good place to look and adds, "And I got a notion it's a good place to go."


As Robert and Pinky relax in the beauty of the summer dusk, the never-ending struggle between life and death plays itself out before them. The hawk, a symbol of strength and class, swoops down and seizes a peacefully grazing rabbit. The rabbit struggles, but it is useless. Once the hawk has its talons in, it is only a matter of time before the rabbit succumbs. In its last moments of life, the rabbit lets out its death cry, the only sound that it will ever make in its abbreviated life.

The rabbit's struggle against the hawk can be seen as symbolic of the Pecks' struggle to survive. Like the rabbit, they are simple, harmless, and live off of the land. The hawk is analogous to the rest of society, who think themselves higher than the Pecks because of their education and class. The hawk wears a beautiful coat of feathers and, with its higher place in the food chain, tries to devour the peaceful rabbit, diving in from above. Here the hawk is successful, and, though the rabbit tries, in the end it dies. Though death is inevitable, whether it be by the hawk or other means, the lesson to Robert is that he should make his statement during life, not just at the end.

Death is a necessary part of life, and though the rabbit's death is gruesome, its death feeds the hawk, whose beauty Robert marvels at as it disappears over the hill. Likewise, the scene of the rabbit's death conjures up memories of Mrs. Peck cooking rabbit, so not only do the death of rabbits feed the hawk, but it sustains Robert and his family as well. Less obviously, but in the same vein, the author creates beautiful imagery of the clover that covers the hilltop on which Robert and Pinky are laying. A few moments later, Robert picks a handful of the clover to suck the honey from their flower buds.

Contrasting with the imagery of death created by the hawk are the warm scenes of flourishing life and procreation that Robert imagines when he talks to Pinky. He pictures her as a brood sow, giving birth to dozens of babies and eventually, by her efforts, making the Peck's lives better.

The struggle between life and death is an important theme of A Day No Pigs Would Die. As the chapter ends, Robert runs into his father putting his tools away in the shed. These tools are likely the ones that Mr. Peck uses to kill pigs, the practice of which sustains the Peck family. They watch the sunset, the dying of a day, and Robert comments that the heavens at this time of day are the most beautiful sight in the world. Haven agrees and adds that they are a good place to go as well. Death is not an ugly thing to these people but rather a necessary part of the maintenance of life. For people that work so hard without rest during their lives, death is more of a reward than something to dread.