A farmer had a horse and mule.
The first he pampered like a child,
But on the other, as a rule,
Great bags and sacks were piled.
“Borne down by this enormous freight,
Unless you share it, I”ll be lamed
Or perish of the weight!”
The horse, who loved to lounge and shirk,
Sniffed in contempt, and turned aside.
Soon, bent beneath his overwork,
The mule collapsed and died.
But now where will the burden fall
Of many a laden bag and sack?
The farmer, then, must heap them all
Upon the horse’s back.
And while the pressure crushed and cut,
The victim groaned, “Ah, what a fool!
How I’d have helped myself, if but
I’d tried to help the mule!”