Shake It Off
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously
for hours as the farmer tried to figure
out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up
anyway; it just wasn't
worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a
and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized
what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was
at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the
donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off
and take a step up
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he
would shake it off
and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as
the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted
Friend, Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to
getting out of the well is to
shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of life's deepest wells just
not stopping, and never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
your heart from hatred - Forgive.
Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
Live simply and appreciate
what you have.
Give more. Expect less
GIFT OF THE OLD ONE
by Eunice Day, Washington, ME
The young couple had made their usual hurried,
pre-Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly
parents with their small herd of goats. The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm, and through the years had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside.
The old folks no longer showed their goats, for
the years had taken their toll, but they sold a little milk,
and a few kids each year and the goats were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.
Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple
confronted the old folks. "Why do you not at least dispose
of "The Old One." She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had either kids or milk from her. You should cut corners and save where you can. Why do you keep her anyway?" The old man looked down as his worn boot scuffed at the barn
floor and his arm stole defensively about "The Old One's" neck
as he drew her to him and rubbed her gently behind the
ears. He replied softly, "We keep her because
of love. Only because of love." Baffled and irritated,
the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.
So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no
one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires
in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but "The Old One".
In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze
and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay.
With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he
raced to the barn to save their beloved goats.
But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove
him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury.
By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking,
glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife.
They thanked those who had come to their aid, and the old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on the eve
of Christmas. Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the
old pine where we have sought comfort in time of despair.
We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared." And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his hand. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest
of the hill, they looked up and gasped in amazement at the incredible
beauty before them. Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved
pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles.
And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened
like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy as he pulled his wife forward.
There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift.
Bedded down about "The Old One" close to the trunk,
was the entire herd, safe? At the first hint of smoke,
she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the goats through it. Slowly
and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily through the snow. The kids were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings
looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their
tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits.
The milkers pressed uneasily against "The Old One" as she moved calmly up the
hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of those she loved. Her body was brittle with years, but the golden eyes were
filled with devotion as
she offered her gift because of love. Only because
~*~ Last Words ~*~ By LaRhonda D. Sanders
I am an old doe.
Do not look sad to see me like this.
Keep the tears from
your eyes, even as mine dim.
Yes, I will pass soon,
but remember me not as you see me now,
My head lying cradled
in your lap.
My life has been long for my species,
Each year behind me productive.
You have been blessed with my
My sons have done you proud.
I am no longer suffering.
My shudders are not pain,
as you weep, so do I.
Remember the memories we've had.
The first time we met, when I nuzzled your hand,
at you with winsome eyes.
Remember the shows, our first win together.
You were euphoric, your body vibrating with elation;
hugged me and kissed my nose.
I remember it all.
When I have sighed my last breath,
you don't mourn long for me,
Nor blame yourself for my passing.
I have lived my life in all its fullness.
we have endured victory and defeat,
Hardship and success with countless dreams come true
And just as many disappointments.
talked to me, bared your soul to me, cried with me.
I was your friend when you wanted to be alone
You were my savior
in my times of need.
My blood lives on in our herd.
They'll keep alive all the memories in your
Though I shall pass this day,
When you look at them, remember me,
Because for every high mark earned, for
You have given me the greatest honor of all:
You believed in me, granting a chance at life
scrawny doeling hiding in the corner
Amidst a truckload of kids headed for the auction.
For giving me that chance,
I have given you a lifetime of thanks.
April 26, 2000
LaRhonda D. Sanders
Dragonstar Dairy Goats
Crescent City, California