Suppose,” said I, that you should see
A small boy tumble from a tree;
How would you tell that tale to me?”

“Why, dad,” said he, “I’d simply say,
I saw a fellow hurt today,
And two men carried him away.”

“How many injured would there be,” I asked?
“Just one, of course,” said he,
“The boy who tumbled from the tree.”

“No, no,” I answered him,
“That fall which hurt the lad brought pain to all,
Who knew and loved that youngster small.”

“His mother wept, his father sighed,
His brothers and sisters cried,
And all his friends were hurt inside.”

“Remember this your whole life through;
Whatever may cause hurt to you
Must hurt us all who love you too.”

“You cannot live your life alone;
We suffer with your slightest groan
And make your pain and grief our own.”

“If you should do one shameful thing,
You would not bear alone the sting;
We’d spend our years in suffering.”

“How many hurt?” We cannot state.
There never falls a blow of fate
But countless people feel its weight.”

- Edgar A. Guest

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