(Poems/Prose  @ www.HappyOtter.Com)


THE PENDULUM

There was once a pendulum waiting to be fixed on a new clock. It began to calculate how long it would be before the big wheels were worn out and its work was done. It would be expected to tick night and day, so many times a minute, sixty times that every hour, and twenty-four times that every day and three hundred and sixty-five times that every year. It was awful! quite a row of figures, enough to stagger you! Millions of ticks! "I can never do it," said the poor pendulum. But the clockmaster encouraged it. "You can do one tick at a time?" he said. "Oh, yes," the pendulum could do that. "Well," he said, "that is all that will be required of you." So the pendulum went to work, steadily ticking, one tick at a time, and it is ticking yet, quite cheerfully.

--D.L. Moody


PERSEVERANCE

If a task is once begun
Never leave it till it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.

--Anonymous


THE POWER OF LITTLES

Great events, we often find,
On little things depend,
And very small beginnings
Have oft a mighty end.

Letters joined make words,
And words to books may grow,
As flake on flake descending
Form an avalanche of snow.

A single utterance may good
Or evil thought inspire;
One little spark enkindled
May set a town on fire.

What volumes may be written
With little drops of ink!
How small a leak, unnoticed,
A mighty ship will sink!

A tiny insect's labor
Makes the coral strand,
And mighty seas are girdled
With grains of golden sand.

A daily penny, saved,
A fortune may begin;
A daily penny, squandered,
May lead to vice and sin.

Our life is made entirely
Of moments multiplied,
As little streamlets, joining,
Form the ocean's tide.

Our hours and days, our months and years,
Are in small moments given:
They constitute our time below --
Eternity in heaven.

--Anonymous


THOMAS JEFFERSON'S DECALOGUE 
FOR THE PRACTICAL LIFE

1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will
be dear to you.
5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.

-Thomas Jefferson (From a Letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, dated from Monticello,
February 21, 1825)


PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.