The Coach and the Fly

On a steep, sandy, arduous trail, One from all sides exposed to the Sun, Six sturdy horses pulled a Coach. Women, a Monk, old men—all got off. The team was sweating, snorting, spent. A Fly arrives, and gets near the horses; Claims to be urging them with her buzzing; Stings one, stings the other, and thinks all the while That she drives the contraption; Sits down on the pole, on the Driver’s nose; As soon as the chariot makes its way, And she sees the people walking, She takes all the credit for herself; Comes and goes, dashes about; it’s as if she were A General going to each position To make his men advance, and hasten victory. The Fly, in this mutual need, Complains that she acts alone; and that she must do all the work; That nobody helps the horses out of their predicament. The Monk recites his

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