Here Lies a Foolish Swine

 

Livestock in the early days of railroading was a constant source of trouble between the carriers and the farmers.  Stock would be killed and it was, of course, always the railroad’s fault.  In one case, a farmer had a hog killed by a train and since he believed himself to have some ability as a poet, wrote the railroad Claim Agent as follows:

 

My razorback strolled down your track,
A week ago today.
Your #29 came down the line,
And snuffed his life away.
You can't blame me; the hog you see,
Slipped through a cattle gate;
So kindly pen a check for ten,
The debt to liquidate.

 

He was surprised a few days later when the railroad Claim Agent replied:

 

Old #29 came down the line,
And killed your hog, we know;
But razorbacks on railroad tracks,
Quite often meet with woe.
Therefore, my friend, we cannot send,
The check for which you pine,
Just plant the dead; place o'er his head;
'Here lies a foolish swine.'

 

 

Posted: 01/17/07