Friday, May 3, 2013

Words for Thought

Once upon a time, in a meadow close to home, Hapily Porcupine decided to write a book. "Yes," he mused, the exciting thought dancing through his brain, "I'll call it Loveneedles."
    "Ooch, eech, ouch," he said, as he yanked a quill from his hide and set to work. It was very slow going, especially since his quills wore out and his skin began to show. And even more especially because his mind was new to this kind of think-do. Even so, he was determined to finish what he started.
    One day, Upity Ostrich loped by and said, "What in the world are you doing?"
    "I'm writing a book, " replied Hapily, happily. "Aren't you?"
    "Are you mad?" shrieked Upity, uppity. "I don't have time for that sort of thing; and besides, I'm sure it's much too hard, " and went on her way. And Hapily went back to work.
    Not long afterward he heart a slithering in the bush.
    "Sssssssaay," said Snerfy the Snake, "what are you doing?"
    "I'm writing a book, " replied Hapily, happily. "Aren't you?"
    "Aw, gee, n-no," mumbled Snerfy, sniffly. "Just look at me. Who am I to be writing a book about anything? I son'r even have anything to write with, You, on the other … er … hand- why, you're positively bristling with writting equipment," and slithered on his way. And Hapily went back to work.
    One day he heard a flapping in the air, after which Hawtily Hawk plopped onto a branch.
    "And just what do you think you're doing?" asked Hawtily, haughtily.
    "I'm writing a book," replied Hapily, happily. "Aren't you?"
    "Certainly now" replied Hawtily, preening a wing with her beak. "I couldn't possibly do a thing like that, dear boy. Besides, what would people say? I'm sure it would be most embarrassing," whereupon she swooped away. And Hapily went back to work.
    One day, when the wind was still and the sun was warm, Hapily chanced upon his friends, taking in the meadow.
    "Hello, good friends," said Hapily, happily. "what are you doing?"
    "Why, we're reviewing this book you call Loveneedles," they clucked.
    "I would have made it longer," said one.
    "I would have made it shorter," said another.
    "I would have made it better," snider the third.
    "Oh, I expect you're all very correct," said Hapily, sincerely. Whereupon he began to smile. And the smile turned into a giggle, and the giggle turned into the biggest bellylaugh that Hapily had ever owned. Because unlike his friends, Hapily had just learned the secret of life: Persistence makes accomplishments; excuses make hot air.

And so the moral of this fable is
If you're sure you can't, you won't.
If you think you can, you might.
If you know you can, you will.

by Robert F. Mager

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