Petulia Gristle

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Petulia Gristle
Race Human
Age 14 when introduced
Occupation Witch
Physical appearance Young girl, rather round; tends to wear too much occult jewelery.
Residence Ramtops
Marital Status currently at least engaged.
Books A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith

Petulia is a friend of Tiffany Aching and is being tutored by "Old Mother" Blackcap. She is particularly talented with pigs and, as a result, gains the nick-name "the pig witch". Her talent also wins her the Witch Trials in A Hat Full of Sky, when she performs the pig trick. What this trick actually is is not revealed. She first appears in A Hat Full of Sky and also appears in Wintersmith. She is a member of the coven set up by Annagramma Hawkin. When with the coven, she has a tendency to mumble, stutter, and be extremely deferential, but when at work, she becomes self-confident and secure. In I Shall Wear Midnight, this latter tendency appears to have found her a husband, the sort of stolid Lancre pig-farmer who values a woman's ability to tuck a pig under each arm, treat their ailments, and finally convert them to all the things pork is prone to becoming. While there is no record of the marriage, or at least not one available to us, Wintersmith names the young man who has indeed noted her ability to carry a pig under each arm, and who is therefore keen on finding out more about her, as Matty Weaver. It is entirely possible this is the man who later became Mr Gristle.

Petulia is an expert at Pig-Boring, which is the most humane way of slaughtering an animal prior to sausage and bacon-hood. She simply chooses her animal, and then talks to it in a most earnest monotone voice about trivial things of parochial importance until its eyes close and it slumps to one side, having by then given up the will to live.

Petulia is also, apparently, acuphobic. Being frightened of pins seems a drawback for one of veterinarian disposition, who would presumably be expected to inject her patients now and again. And a witch who has a phobia about pins might find the business with the wax doll rather daunting. (How does she attach those bits of the occult jewellry which are secured with pins, like brooches and some earrings?)

It is her misfortune to have been named after a very inappropriate Goddess. This begs the question of what Mr and Mrs Gristle must have been thinking of... or whether they were aware of it. The far-off land (well, far away from Ankh-Morpork) they inhabit has only the occasional wandering preacher, mainly Omnian, to bring religious succour. For them to have an intimate knowledge of all of the 3000 gods and counting discovered by research theologians would be impossible.