The Old Man

Once long ago, there lived an old man.
He had no money. He had no plan.
All that he had was a horse oh so grand
and he and his horse lived off the land.

The King offered riches for this horse oh so fine,
“I’ll give you money if you’ll make your horse mine.”
But the old man said, “My horse will not be sold,
he lives with me. He lives free and bold.”

Then one day the horse was plain gone.
“The horse had been stolen,” the townsfolk cried on.
The old man said, “Friends, don’t look so sad,
Though the horse be gone that may not be so sad.”

“You foolish old man, look what you’ve done.
You had a fine horse and now you have none.
A curse it is and a curse it will be,
you shouldn’t have let your horse wander free!”

The horse soon returned with others by its side.
There were twelve now of beauty and pride.
The townsfolk said, “Old man, you were right.
You are blessed to have horses of unearthly delight!”

“I have 12 horses, yes that is true
but that does not mean I am blessed with them too.
It is too soon to judge, who knows what will be?
Try not to make stories from the little you see.”

As it came to pass, the old man’s only son
tried riding a horse, just for fun.
Yet he broke both his legs while playing this game
and the townsfolk cried, “Oh what a shame!”

The old man said, “Friends don’t speak so soon.
You hear just one note yet you sing an entire tune.
Who’s to say what the future may hold?
My son’s legs are broken but the future lies untold.”

Soon there was war, and the young men of town
were all sent to fight and were shot down.
But the old man’s son was saved from this plight.
He had broken his legs, he was forced not to fight.

And the townfolk cried out, “Again you were right!”
But the old man replied, “Have you no sight?
Only God knows what is and will be.
To live and let live is to live and live free.”

This spiritual story was written by Jonathan Robinson.

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