This poem is based on Aesop’s fable of the same name.

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A thirsty stag went down to drink
Some water at a spring.
Observing his reflection there,
He started pondering.

“My spindly legs are straight and thin—
They are a sorry sight.
My antlers are a thing of pride—
They represent my might.”

And so the stag did not respect
His legs, for they were small.
But he esteemed his mighty rack,
For it was wide and tall.

But as the stag was gazing at
His own reflection there,
A lion came and leaped at him
And missed him by a hair.

The stag ran off into the field.
He was the lion’s prey.
While he was running through the grass,
His legs took him away.

But when the lion chased him from
The open, grassy lea,
His antlers got entangled in
The branches of a tree.

And when the stag could not escape,
The lion captured him.
He realized his days were through—
His light was getting dim.

The stag cried out before he died,
“Oh, how my thoughts were wrong!
I thought my antlers, not my legs,
Were what had made me strong!”

The things we tend to value most of all
Can be the very things that make us fall.

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