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Be Choosy With People

My mother, who I’ve dubbed, Our Lady of Wise Advice, recited THE PIG poem for years.  Usually it was after I’d had some altercation with a school mate (i.e. girl in a group) where some silly teenage girl thing escalated beyond immediate solvency. Just when I didn’t think my hurt and anger could get worse, the rumors and the isolation started the next day.

Our Lady of Wise Advice shook a warning finger in my face: “We are often judged (right, wrong or indifferent) by the people we chose to associate with.  These girls are not your friends.”

“What do I do?” I asked the wise one.

” ‘You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses, and the pig got up and slowly walked away…’ Walk away. Find new friends.” Then she went about her business. Our Lady wasn’t big on belaboring the point.

THE PIG poem originates from the most favorite of all poets, Anonymous. It’s been twisted and retold, embellished, even set to music, but the lesson is always the same: choose your company carefully.


by Anonymous

It was the first of May
A lovely spring day
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter
When a lady passing by did softly say
‘You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses’ — And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

“The Pig” by Anonymous. Public domain.


Original graphic and quote: Stephanie DelTorchio

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