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The Story-Life of Lincoln
01-14-2015, 07:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: The Story-Life of Lincoln
I bought this book many years ago and think it's one of the best of the "Lincoln story" books. The "Lincoln saving the pig" story has been previously mentioned on the forum, but the version Whipple includes is somewhat different than what I've read in some other books.


Lawyer Lincoln Rescues a Pig

While Lincoln was practising law he used to go from one town to another to try cases before different courts. There were no railroads in those days, and traveling "on the circuit" (going around from court to court) was done mostly on horseback.

One day, when several lawyers besides Mr. Lincoln were traveling in this way, they came to a very muddy place in the road, and at one side, near the rail fence, was a poor pig stuck fast, and squealing as loud as possible.

The men thought this very funny and laughed at the unfortunate pig; but Lincoln said,

"Let us stop and help the poor thing out,"

"Oh, Abe," said one, "you must be crazy! Your clothes would look pretty after you had lifted that dirty pig up, wouldn't they?"

The others all poked fun at Lincoln, and so they rode on until they were out of sight and hearing of the suffering beast.

Lincoln rode on with them also, but little by little he went slower. He was thinking about the pig and the farmer who owned him. He thought: "What a pity for him to lose that pig; he can't afford it! It means shoes for his little children to wear next winter." And then the memory of that pitiful squeal kept ringing in his ears. So, after going quite a long distance with the other gentlemen, Lincoln turned his horse and rode back all alone, to see if he could get the pig out. He found the poor thing still deeper than before in the mud and mire. So he took some rails from the fence, and putting them down by the squealing animal, made a safe footing to stand on. Then he took two other rails, and, putting them under the pig, pried him up out of the mud until he could reach him with his hands. Then he took hold of him, and, pulling him out, placed him on the dry sand.

As the pig ran grunting off toward his home, Lincoln looked at his soiled clothes with a satisfied smile, as much as to say, "Well, a little water and brushing will soon make the clothes look clean again, and I don't care if the other fellows do laugh at me; the pig's out of his misery, and Farmer Jones's children won't have to go barefoot next winter."

Lincoln in Story, Silas G. Pratt, page 57.

In another version of this same story the indication is that Lincoln's saving the pig was not purely an act benevolence but Lincoln felt it was more an act of selfishness, for he went to the pig's relief in order (as he said to the friend to whom he related the incident) to "take a pain out of his mind."
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The Story-Life of Lincoln - Gene C - 01-13-2015, 10:50 PM
RE: The Story-Life of Lincoln - RJNorton - 01-14-2015 07:42 AM

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