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David Sidwell

No-one is indespensable

There are plenty of indispensable people in the graveyard, even those who thought they were the most powerful.....

A farmer has an ox and a mule pulling his plough. The soil is stony, and life is hard. The ox is clearly the biggest and strongest animal, but is tired of shouldering more of the burden than the mule.

One winter's morning, it's dark and frosty outside, and the ox decides to throw a sickie. It lies in the hay, pretending to be ill. The farmer's full of concern, mixes a bucket of warm oats, wraps him in a blanket, and sets off with the mule to plough the fields.

That evening when the mule returns, the ox says "Did the farmer say anything about me?" The mule replied, "No, not a word. He helped me pull the plough, and it's late now, but at least we got the work done."

Next morning, the ox was warm and comfortable in the hay, and decides to act ill again. The farmer wraps him up warm and leaves him hot oats, and spends the day with the mule in the fields.

When the mule returns, tired out, the ox asks again: "Did the farmer say anything about me?"

The mule replied, "No, not a word. But he did have a long talk with the butcher on the way home."

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