Truth in Jest
Marin Odd Fellows

About Odd Fellowship

To the Uninitiated

A Unique Institution

Friendship Love Truth

More on FLT

Initiation Fulfills

Truth in Jest

Favorite Links

True-Hearted Fellows


On a certain railroad in Missouri a bridgeman was working, and the bridgeman was an Odd Fellow. One day he received a telegram to come home at once; his wife had become suddenly ill. He boarded the first home-bound train, anxious to reach her bedside at the earliest possible moment. He lived near the railroad, midway between two stations; and the thought came to him that much precious time would be saved to him if the conductor would stop the train and let him off at his home. It happened that the conductor was also an Odd Fellow; and the bridgeman told him his desire. The conductor looked thoughtful for a moment, then replied: "My brother, according to the regulations of this road I can not stop the train between stations for passengers - but I'll tell you what to do. I will call for your ticket about the time we reach your home. You can refuse to present one, and I will put you off. See?"

By and by as the train neared the bridgeman's home, the conductor stopped at the side of the bridgeman, who was wearing a three-link pin, and said, "Ticket, sir!" The bridgeman refused, and the conductor reached up, pulled the bell rope, and gruffly said, "I shall put you off!"

Now it happened that another Odd Fellow, sitting across the aisle, heard the conversation, and on seeing the three-link pin on the bridgeman's vest, quickly rose, and stepping between the bridgeman and conductor, said: "How much is the fare, sir? I will pay it," and pointing to the mystic links, added, "This man is my brother." But the train had stopped, and the bridgeman did not stay to listen to the explanations.

The Lodge Goat and Goat Rides, Butts and Goat Hairs Gathered from the Lodge Rooms of Every Fraternal Order: More than a Thousand Anecdotes, Incidents and Illustrations from the Humorous Side of Lodge Life James Pettibone, ed. (James Pettibone; Cincinnati, OH, 1909).


Probably more jokes have been told about the Lodge Goat than any other subject. They are just that, jokes. The Odd Fellows does not tolerate any rough or embarassing treatment of candidates. But, there is an element of truth even in this jest: Like all true initiations, the ceremonies teach profound lessons that are to the mind and conscience like a goat would be to the backside.