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Sometimes it doesn't pay to ask for more

Bob'n'Along by Bob Stealey

EDITOR

Today, I'd like to relate to you a clever little fable that was passed along to me which carries a lot of meaning. It goes like this:

On the very first day, God created the cow. He said to the cow, "Today I have created you! As a cow, you must go to the field with the farmer all day long. You will work all day under the sun! I will give you a life span of 50 years."

Cow objected. "What? This kind of tough life You want me to live for 50 years? Let me have just 20 years, and the remaining 30 years I'll give back to You." So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the dog. God said to the dog, "What you are supposed to do is to sit all day by the door of your house. Any people who come in, you will have to bark at them! I'll give you a life span of 20 years!"

Well, Dog objected. "What? All day long to sit by the door? No way! I give You back my other 10 years of life!" So God agreed.

On the third day, God created the monkey. He said to the monkey, "Monkey has to entertain people. You've got to make them laugh and do monkey tricks. I'll give you 20 years life span."

But Monkey objected. "What? Make them laugh? Do monkey faces and tricks? Ten years will do, and the other 10 years I'll give back to You." So God agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man and said to him, "Your job is to sleep, eat and play. You will enjoy very many things in your life. All you need to do is to enjoy and do nothing. This kind of life, I'll give you 20 years of life span."

The man vehemently objected. "What?! Such a good life! Eat, play, sleep, do nothing? Enjoy the best and You expect me to live only for 20 years? No way! Why don't we make a deal? Since Cow gave you back 30 years, Dog gave you back 10 years and Monkey gave you back 10 years, I will take them from you! That makes my life span 70 years, right?" So God finally agreed.

And so that is why ... In our first 20 years, we eat, sleep, play, enjoy the best of life and do nothing much at all. For the next 30 years, we work all day long, suffer and get to support the family. For the next 10 years, we entertain our grandchildren by making monkey faces and doing monkey tricks. And for the last 10 years, we stay at home, sit in front of the door and bark at people.

------

E-mail buddy Norvil Lantz of Bella Vista, Ark., tells me that he's had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, has fought cancer and diabetes, is half-blind, and, having just mentioned 757s, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine.

"I take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts," he said. "I have bouts with dementia, poor circulation and can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. "I can't remember," he added, "whether I am 68 or 86 and I've lost all my friends. ... But, thank God, I still have my Arkansas driver's license."

I'll close on that one for today. Have a great weekend!

Editor Bob Stealey can be reached by phone at 626-1438, or by e-mail at rstealey@exponent-telegram.com.

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