Down a road went a boy, kicking a can.
Along the same road there came an old man.
He spoke softly and walked rather slow,
Patiently walking to where he must go.
Seeing the parcels the old man carried,
The boy shouldered them for him, and for a moment they tarried.
Then they walked on together to the old man's cabin,
And the old man bid the boy come in.
The old man asked if the boy wished something in return,
But the boy declined and away he turned.
The old man stopped him and asked if he knew how to churn.
The boy said "Nay."
But the old man said, "Come anyway.
Stay for a while. Learn."
So the boy came back and sat on a stool
In front of the churn and took up the staff-tool.
And indeed that day the boy did learn,
But about much more than a butter churn.
For as he worked the old man told
Many stories of the days of old.
He told of peace and war
And old mysterious lore.
When the work was done, he took down a Book,
And bid the boy, "Come; take a look."
From that Book the boy read with the man.
Then the man closed the Book and said, "Son, understand:
For a young boy stories are grand,
But this Book will give you the understanding of a man.
It teaches of wisdom, character, and compassion
And gives us a model after which we ourselves should fashion.
Follow this Book; let it be your guide,
And you, my boy, will have its Writer by your side."
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