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The Old Mule  It seems that a farmer owned a mule and during the dark of night the mule wandered onto an old well site and fell down deep into the hole. The next morning the farmer heard the mule braying and crying pitifully but the farmer figured that to get the animal out of the well was more trouble than it was worth. So, because the well was dry and the mule was old, he called on his neighbors to ask that they gather to help him shovel dirt into the well, burying the old mule and filling in the hole. When the loads of dirt began to rain down on the mule, the animal was horrified that anybody would reward so many years of service in such a horrible manner.  Was this any way to treat a mule that had been loyal and true, that had pulled the wagon or plow every day? But the mule kept its cool and realized that if he would only shrug it off and step up, he'd have a chance against the dirt that rained down on his back. Oh the dirt hurt when it hit his back, and nobody gave him much of a chance, but the mule was steadfast in shrugging the dirt off and stepping up. Shake it off and step it up....shake it off and step it up... No matter how painful the blows or how stressful the situation, that old mule realized that if it would "shake it off and step it up,' things just might pay off sooner or later. Late that same afternoon, the old mule was finally able to step out of that well. So the moral of the story is this:  The next time you are battered and discouraged, with even your closest friends throwing dirt on you, remember to "shrug it off and step it up.' If a mule can figure it out, so can a lot of men and women I know.  -Author unknown

 
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