The Wood and the Man

A country man, once in the woods looking 'round,
Above at the trees and beneath at the ground,
Attracted attention from every fine tree
And each wondered what his intention could be.
At length one tall tree much more brave than the rest,
Said: "I pray you, dear sir, make known your request."
He said he was hunting a piece of ash wood,
To make an axhandle, if so be it he could.
The trees all agreed, and not a bit daunted,
Said, "Why to be sure, if that's all he wanted,"
But his ax thus made ready, as swift as the breeze,
He swung it around and soon levelled the trees.
The oak to the pine whispered: "These are queer gains,
But yet, brother, we must take it for our pains."
Don't be over hasty in sharpening a knife,
For one who is willing to shorten your life.

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