THE MILLER AND THE MULE
A miller once walked with his little boy Bill,
Leading his mule up a rather steep hill.
But he paused when a neighbor sarcastically cried,
"What's the good of a mule if you don't sit astride?"
The miller at once set his son on the beast.
Did this please his neighbors? No, not in the least.
Said one, "Here's a scandal to pepper our talk;
The lazy son rides while his father must walk."
Well, Billy climbed off and his father got on,
And the lad walked along in the summery dawn.
"You lazy old man," cried a farmer, "you ride
While that poor little youngster must trudge at your side.
Desiring approval, yet puzzled of mind,
The miller raised Billy and sat him behind.
But they hadn't gone far till a neighbor exclaimed,
"What a load for a mule. You should both be ashamed!"
The miller then stopped in the dust of the road.
"Our friends think our weight is too heavy a load,
So let us dismount and reversing the rule,
My son, you and I shall now carry the mule.
"Ha, ha! What a sight!" grinned a farmer named Fritz,
"The miller has taken full leave of his wits!"
At this, the good miller remarked to his son,
"If you try to please all, you will end pleasing none."