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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

(22) DID HE BEAT THE POOR BEAST? NO, INDEED HE DID NOT!

ESSAY ON MULES

There once was a crotchety little gray mule

Which, weary of hauling his load,

Stopped short in a shadow invitingly cool,

And sat down by the side of the road.


His owner commanded the creature to rise.

He prodded, he pushed, and he cussed;

But the little mule, lazily blinking his eyes,

Just sat on his tail in the dust.


A passerby said as he paused in the street,

How small is the power of force!

Permit me, my friend!  I can bring to his feet

That stubborn excuse for a horse!"


Did he beat the poor beast?  No, indeed he did not!

He showed him a carrot or two,

And this caused the mule to get up on the spot,

As his owner had wanted him to.

                                                                                                                     Leo Harrington

Now, people are mulish—and so, if you're wise,

You'll learn as you travel the years,

That to badger or bluster (or even advise)

Causes humans to lay back their ears.


Make tactful persuasion your every-day rule.

Suggest, if you must.  Don't command.

Then you'll find that the crankiest two-legged mule

Will shortly eat out of your hand!

                                                                                                              Grace Lawrence



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