The Ambulance In The Valley

’Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed, Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant,’ But over its terrible edge there had slipped A duke, and full many a peasant.

The people said something would have to be done, But their projects did not at all tally. Some said "Put a fence ‘round the edge of the cliff," Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."

The lament of the crowd was profound and was loud, As their tears overflowed with their pity; But the cry for the ambulance carried the day As it spread through the neighbouring city.

A collection was made, to accumulate aid, And the dwellers in highway and alley Gave dollars or cents - not to furnish a fence - But an ambulance down in the valley.

"For the cliff is all right if you’re careful," they said; "And, if folks ever slip and are dropping.

It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much As the shock down below - when they’re stopping."

So for years (we have heard), as these mishaps occurred Quick forth would the rescuers sally, To pick up the victims who fell from the cliff, With the ambulance down in the valley.

Said one, to his pleas, "It’s a marvel to me That you’d give so much greater attention To repairing results than to curing the cause; You had much better aim at prevention.

For the mischief, of course, should be stopped at its source; Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally, It is far better sense to rely on a fence Than an ambulance down in the valley."

"He is wrong in his head," the majority said; "He would end all our earnest endeavour. He’s a man who would shirk this responsible work, But we will support it forever.

Aren’t we picking up all, just as fast as they fall, And giving them care liberally? A superfluous fence is of no consequence, If the ambulance works in the valley."

The story looks queer as we’ve written it here, But things oft occur that are stranger.

More humane, we assert, than to succour the hurt Is the plan of removing the danger. The best possible course is to safeguard the source By attending to things rationally.

Yes, build up the fence and let us dispense With the ambulance down in the valley.