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Have You Seen A Little Leg Of Mine?

Many years ago, we used to sing a silly campfire song which went something like:

Says a thousand-legged worm

As he gives a little squirmThousand legged worm

Have you seen a little leg of mine?

If it can’t be found

I shall have to hop around

On my nine hundred and ninety-nine!

Hop around, hop around

Have you seen a little leg of mine?

If it can’t be found

I shall have to hop around

On my nine hundred and ninety-nine!

At the time, I never thought to ask how it was that the thousand legged worm had to hop around on his other nine hundred and ninety-nine legs, pray tell? It simply never occurred to me! Today, as I mused over it, I came to realize how much a silly little song like this could have the potential to trap people into thinking they’re somehow handicapped because they’ve lost one of their one thousand little legs, and have somehow got to make do with the miserable nine hundred and ninety-nine left! Knock! Knock! Perspective, are you home? Haven’t we realized that we still have nine hundred and ninety-nine legs and ought to be thankful for them? We will lose things as we get on in life, get used to it, focus on what we still have, and learn how to continue being productive and fruitful with what we have! Contrast this type of thinking with that of the Earl of Uxbridge, who lost his one of only two legs at the Battle of Waterloo.

Earl UxbridgeAccording to anecdote, the Earl of Uxbridge had already had eight horses shot from under him while leading cavalry charges against the French all that day. One of the last cannon shots fired at Waterloo happened to hit Uxbridge and tore off his leg. Uxbridge is reported to have remarked to Wellington, “By God, Sir, I’ve lost my leg.” To which Wellington replied, with equal restraint: “By God, Sir, so you have.” Uxbridge was taken to the hospital, where, according to the Deputy Inspector of Medical Staff, John Robert Hume, he displayed none of the usual signs of distress that one in his state might reasonably be expected to exhibit, save for one remark that the knife used by the surgeon “appeared to be a little blunt.” Uxbridge survived the amputation and went on to serve as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, where he was praised for his even-handed treatment of both Catholics and Protestants. His leg also gained some attention of its own, being entombed at the house of the Frenchman where the amputation had taken place. It became a tourist attraction. Uxbridge’s leg is also credited with the phrase “One foot in the grave”, which probably started as an example of British humour.

So, instead of singing about our one lost leg and having to hop around on the remaining nine hundred and ninety-nine, how about being thankful for the one we still have, and go on living life being of service to others? Brings a new perspective, doesn’t it?

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