Abraham Lincoln’s Pig

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3 min read

In honor of President’s Day, we bring you this account, in Abraham Lincoln’s own words, of a pig he knew as a little boy, which was published in the anthology The Speaking Oak, by Ferdinand C. Iglehart:

“That pig was my companion [at age 6]. I played with him, I taught him tricks. We used to play ‘hide and go seek.’ I can see his little face now peeping around the corner of the house to see whether I was coming after him. After a while he got too heavy for me to carry him around, and then he followed me everywhere—to the barn, the plowed ground, the woods. Many a day I have spent in the woods brushing the leaves away and helping him to find the acorns and nuts. Sometimes he would take a lazy spell and rub against my legs, and stop in front of me, and lie down before me, and say in a language which I understood: “Abe, why don’t you carry me like you used to do?”

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“There was talk about the house of the hog being fat enough to kill. At the table I heard father say he was going to kill the hog the next day. My heart got as heavy as lead.

“The next morning … I slipped out and took my pet with me to the forest. When father found out…he yelled as loud as he could, ‘You, Abe, you, Abe, fetch back that hog!’ … The louder he called, the farther and faster we went, till we were out of hearing the voice. We stayed in the woods till night.

“On returning, I was severely scolded. After a restless night, I arose early and went to get my pig for another day’s hiding, but found that father had arisen before me and fastened my pet in the pen. I knew then all hope was gone. I did not eat any breakfast, but started for the woods. I had not gone far when I heard the pig squeal, and knowing what it meant, I ran as fast as I could to get away from the sound.

“Being quite hungry, at noon I started for home. Reaching the edge of the clearing, I saw the hog, dressed, hanging from a pole…and I began to blubber. I could not stand it, and went back into the woods again, where I found some nuts that stayed my appetite till night, when I returned home. They never could get me to take a bit of the meat…it made me sad and sick to even look at it.”

Honest Abe wasn’t able to save that pig, but you can save one today, by going vegan. Find out how to get started by checking out our online Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit.

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