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One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. (We won't speculate on just how he got there.) The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up; it just wasn't worth the time and the expense to retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbors to help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At the first few shovels, it was as if the donkey realized what was happening, and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, my friends, all kinds of dirt. The trick is to shake it off and take a step up. Each trouble is a stepping stone. So don't stop! Never give up! Just shake off the dirt and take a step up!

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