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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
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Give or take?

FrankFrank ModeratorPosts: 6,306 mod
A miser had fallen into a well. A peasant, passing by, heard his cries and caught sight of him at the bottom of the well, in water up to his chin. The peasant bent down as far as he could, and said: ‘Give me your hand, I will pull you out’. Hearing the word ‘give’, the miser refused to listen any further and remained motionless, preferring to drown. ‘Well, take my hand then!, cried the peasant. At this, the miser seized the hand eagerly, and was saved.


  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,713 mod
    :-( It would have served him right if his rescuer had left him there. Just as well the peasant didn't charge the miser for his services.

    Here's an Indian joke along similar lines:

    A man in a blue suit had fallen between the rails in a subway station. People were all crowding around vainly trying to get him out before the train ran him over. Everyone was shouting, “Give me your hand!”

    The man would not reach up.

    Suddenly, Ben Bebo, the wise guru, elbowed his way through the crowd and leaned over the man. “Friend,” he asked, “What is your profession?”

    “I am an income tax collector,” gasped the man in the blue suit.

    “Please sir, take my hand”, said Ben Bebo.

    The man immediately grasped the guru’s hand and was quickly pulled to safety. Ben Bebo then turned to the amazed bystanders and said, “Never ask a tax man to “Give” you anything.”
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