A seeker in an ancient desert land,
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Determined to discover and lay bare
All nature's secrets, met a holy man
Renowned for wisdom, said, “Please tell me where
Your knowledge ends; I aim to understand
What lies beyond your dim myopic stare.”
The hermit's bony shoulders shook with mirth;
He said, “I've never seen an ass give birth.”
The seeker scoffed, continued on his way
And found a pregnant ass on which to prove
Man's greatness; he resolved that come what may
He'd follow her: “Forgive me, donkey, you've
Got company. I'll track you night and day
Until the birth; I'll match your every move.”
The ass led northward, placid and resigned.
The seeker trotted earnestly behind.
He followed past exotic trees whose rare
Delicious fruits hung low along the track,
Ignored the smooth dark skin and shining hair
Of maidens beckoning from bivouacs.
He met a wild-eyed boy who wailed, “Beware
The dancing demons of the north - turn back!”
Yet neither fear nor lust nor greed could wrest
The seeker from his donkey-trekking quest.
Three days the donkey wandered, then at last
Lay panting on a dune; with deep delight
The seeker watched the beast, till sudden blast
Of wind and stinging sand obscured his sight
And made him cringe and stagger - when it passed
A scrawny foal lay blinking in the light.
Marvel at nature's intricate design,
Be humble, lest your hunt be asinine.