Unlikely Friends

It is said that opposites attract.  I don’t know about that, though it is certainly true with magnetic fields.  Truthfully, I never thought a lot about it until I spent 14 years living in the woods on a mountain.  Our collection of animals included 7 dogs, a house cat, a couple of saddle horses, a couple of potbellied pigs two or three goats, some rabbits (never could get an accurate count on them), a few ducks, chickens and a gaggle of geese.  Boy, they taught me a lot, including about unlikely friends.

I spent many hours watching them relate to each other while I did some wood carving and generally puttered around the barn.

We had a chicken and a duck that shared a nest while hatching eggs.  One of our female Toulouse geese took up with a wild tom turkey.  They became fast friends, sitting face to face in the pasture honking and gobbling at each other.

Then there was a potbellied pig and a goat.  They took walks down our 1/2 mile drive to the main road and watched cars go by, stopping the school bus one day to try getting a ride.  However, neither would go into the woods without one of the large dogs as protection.

Miss Habersham, a black potbellied piggy, and Easter, a Toulouse goose became best friends.  Now potbellied pigs don’t do well in cold weather.  So, Easter would sleep on Miss Habersham with her wings spread around the pig to keep her warm.  In the morning the piggy was covered with the white goose down.  One doesn’t see many pigs with feathers.

Well, after many such observations I began to relate that to human cases that I’ve known.  A Southern Baptist and an Orthodox Jew in a big city are not two that one would expect to ever even meet, much less become good friends.  But it happened.

We sometimes find an optimist and a pessimist matched, or an outgoing person with an introvert.  These unlikely relationships can be found in families, workplaces, clubs, and even neighborhoods.

Have you been a part of an unlikely friendship?  The bonds created in these unlikely relationships are often quite strong.


Ken Vincent
Ken Vincent
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

CHECK FOR TICKETS / JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



  1. Ken, your reflection is intriguing.
    There is also a famous thought about the “diversity” of animals and how they live their lives in a more respectable way than humans.
    When we choose our friends, we almost always tend to surround ourselves with people who share, more or less, our own interests and goals, we choose people with tastes and passions similar to ours, promoting a bond that can last over time.
    I think, however, that opposites attract, seek each other, complement each other, love each other because they give each other what they do not have individually and also represent an attraction of mutual curiosity. Because they create “risky” and therefore exciting relationships, because nothing will be taken for granted, everything will have to be conquered, because they allow us to discover ourselves, because it is a “provocative” relationship.
    But I can’t say if, when the differences are linked to vital values, interests and objectives, the relationship is destined to last over time.

  2. We never know about friendships, how they are going to go. Thank you Ken, recently a woman who I had met several months ago and actually had nothing in common and she was a little standoffish, suddenly has become part of my good friend circle. Great insight.

  3. One of the nicest accounts I have read recently Ken. And it resonates very well with me because I call myself an animal empath.

    The good news is that the animal kingdom is full of such wonderment. It has set so many examples of quaint, unlikely friendships. Just like in your story. It was so fascinating to note that the Pig person got its own Down feather duvet, as it were.

    Now for the bad news. We humans have not and will not learn any sane lesson from the signs Universe throws at us. Humans were so much more violent, self-destructive and non-inclusive from the beginning. Not too much has changed seeing what is happening in the world around.

    The very few balanced people show us that they will friend anyone with a good heart, irrespective of their caste, class or creed. And it is those very few people who pray and wish for world peace.

    There I said it!

  4. So you’re saying it’s as unlikely as seeing pigs fly, Ken? (Sorry; that thought flew into my head when I read about Miss Habersham covered with goose down.) 🙂

    And while a Southern Baptist and an Orthodox Jew might not easily bump into each other, in big cities — why not? And why not become friends? For me, those outer and sometimes obvious differences pale next to someone having a big heart.

    Love the picture you painted of living in that remote area, Ken! Sounds heavenly in many ways; you had me smiling as I read it. Thanks!

  5. In my opinion Ken, I think that it is natural (human nature or in the animal kingdom) to seek fellowship with one another during periods of calamities (man-made or natural) for safety and security.

    Petty differences seem to disappear among “opposites” when life and limb and property is threatened.

    In my law enforcement career and within my military experience, once the bullets come at you in anger – your brother and sister in arms become family!

    Thanks for article Ken – you are definitely a wise man.