Moral: Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.
A man of middle age,
Fast getting gray,
Thought it would be but sage
To fix the marriage day.
He had in stocks,
And under locks,
Money enough to clear his way.
Such folks can pick and choose; all tried to please
The moneyed man; but he, quite at his ease,
Showed no great hurry,
Fuss, nor scurry.
"Courting," he said, "was no child's play."
Two widows in his heart had shares --
One young; the other, rather past her prime,
By careful art repairs
What has been carried off by Time.
The merry widows did their best
To flirt and coax, and laugh and jest;
Arranged, with much of bantering glee,
His hair, and curled it playfully.
The eldest, with a wily theft,
Plucked one by one the dark hairs left.
The younger, also plundering in her sport,
Snipped out the gray hair, every bit.
Both worked so hard at either sort,
They left him bald -- that was the end of it.
"A thousand thanks, fair ladies," said the man;
"You've plucked me smooth enough;
Yet more of gain than loss, so quantum suff.,
For marriage now is not at all my plan.
She whom I would have taken t'other day
To enroll in Hymen's ranks,
Had but the wish to make me go her way,
And not my own;
A head that's bald must live alone;
For this good lesson, ladies, many thanks.
So the foolish young fellow had to go home hungry without his wood-apples, which he had broken to pieces in his useless and childish pastime of pelting the bald man; and the foolish bald man went home with his head streaming with blood, saying to himself; "Why should I not submit to being pelted with such delicious wood-apples?"
And everybody there laughed, when they saw him with his head covered with blood, looking like the diadem with which he had been crowned king of fools.
Thus you see that foolish persons become the objects of ridicule in the world, and do not succeed in their objects; but wise persons are honored.
Everyone knows that Saint Peter is entirely bald, except for a single lock of hair in front that falls over his forehead, but most people do not know the following story that explains how this came to be.
While he and Christ were traveling together they came to a farmhouse where the farmwife was just cooking up some large yeast pancakes in grease. According to others it was noodles.
Saint Peter entered the house to beg for some pancakes, while the Lord waited outside. The farmwife was a good-hearted woman, and she gave Peter three pancakes, fresh from the pan. But Peter was selfish, and in order to gain an advantage when the pancakes were divided up, he quickly hid one of them in his cap, then put it on his head. He pretended that he had received only two pancakes, one of which he gave to the Lord.
The pancake under his cap was still hot, and it began to burn Peter terribly on the head, but he could not do anything about it; he just had to bear the pain.
Later, when he took off his cap, he discovered that the hot pancake had burned into his head a large bald spot, which remained with him as long as he lived. Only the lock of hair that had protruded from the front of his cap was spared. Thus Saint Peter's bald head has one lock of hair in front.
Revised May 17, 2013.