Thursday, October 2, 2008

We might as well laugh

In light of all the economic gloom, I thought I'd share a Depression-era poem that Dave Ramsey's mother sent him during a period of economic hard times in the real-estate business. The poem's message was true in the '30s, and the '80s, so I'm willing to bet it's still true today.

The Rooster and the Hen

Said the Little Red Rooster, "Believe me, things are tough!
Seems the worms are getting scarcer and I cannot find enough.
What's become of all those fat ones? It's a mystery to me.
There were thousands through that rainy spell,
But now where can they be?"

But the Old Black Hen didn't grumble or complain,
She had lived through lots of dry spells;
She had lived through floods of rain.
She picked a new and undug spot--the ground was hard and firm.
"I must go to the worms," she said. "The worms won't come to me."

The Rooster vainly spent his day
Through habit, by the ways
Where fat round worms had passed in squads back in the rainy days.
When nightfall found him supperless, he growled in accents rough,
"I'm hungry as a fowl can be! Conditions sure are tough."

But the Old Black Hen hopped to her perch
And dropped her eyes to sleep
And murmured in a drowsy tone, "Young man, hear this and weep.
I'm full of worms and happy, for I've eaten like a pig.
The worms were there as always,
But boy, I had to dig!"

Maybe we have gotten used to having the "fat worms" come easily to us? After all, we live in an era in which the middle class enjoys luxuries undreamed of by Roman emperors. All without having to think about it--everything we want has been at our fingertips.

Not that I am making light of anyone losing their retirement money. But we'll have to buckle down and keep working and we'll get through this.

Here's a couple of great quotes about money by Mark Twain to make you smile--even if it's a wry smile.

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."

"I'm putting all my money in taxes. It's the only thing guaranteed to go up."



  1. Love it. Especially the last line.

  2. Ah how you can cheer a, I adore Mark Twain and the poem was too true!

  3. you are right!! that helsps put it in perspective!!!

    We are so lucky!

    Thanks for coming over and checking me out!

  4. I love your poem from the great depression. I had an aunt who was 106 (she recently passed away). I typed up her life history last year, and she said the favorite time of her life was the great depression because life was simple, everyone was on the same page of humility, and everyone got great joy in working hard.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


  5. Money, money, money. Our neighbour boy was just here and he said they had no food and no money. All they had were croutons and even the croutons were all gone. I offered he and his brother mac and cheese but they opted for granola bars instead. I opened my pantry and looked at my husband and said, "You know, we're doing alright as long as our pantry stays full." I feel for those who are really, truly struggling. Those who feel it like a bump in the road, well, I'm sorry, just keep on driving. There are hungry kids out there begging at their neighbours. (I'd do more, but I'm afraid of offending them. I'll feel out the situation.)