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Putting The Cart Before The Horse

Why doesn’t it pay to put the cart before the horse?
I mean, presumably, one could develop a sort of cart that precedes the horse, with a treadmill attached on the rear, where the horse would walk and power the cart.
The treadmill would have to be attached to a sort of crankshaft, but you would never really have to yell, “Whoa! Boy…” Or “Whoa! Girl…” because all you would have to do is disengage the treadmill from the crankshaft that ultimately turns the rear (or front wheels if you have front-wheel drive). You would be essentially using a clutch to disengage the horsies.

Horse droppings would not need to be cleaned up, because they would automatically drop on the treadmill where they would then be picked up and compressed by a mechanism attached to the crankshaft.

Someone probably already thought of this back in the 18th century. It was probably me in a previous life, and here I am trying to get credit for it again because of lack of recognition the first time around. You see, the reason it never caught on is because people would then not know what to do with a perfectly good expression, “Putting the cart before the horse.”
It would make perfect sense to do so. “Why of course you should put the cart before the horse! Son, why didn’t you put the cart before the horse? Dang it! First get the job you want. Then go to school so you have the capabilities to do that job!”
I suppose we all do that, though, and it isn’t always that bad. Sometimes, if we don’t put the cart before the horse, we just never get moving. I’m that way a little bit. But really, it can be very counter-productive. You don’t get down to the business of what you know you really should be doing, because you’re doing something else that you really won’t need to do anyway if you don’t get done the main thing you should have done.
It’s a form of procrastination.

Why do we do that? Why do we put the cart before the horse? It’s because it is the cart we actually will be riding. It’s the cart that will be carrying our goods to market. We picture ourselves sitting up on the cart moving swiftly down the countryside. It’s a form of visualization, but…
…sadly, if we never hitch up the horse, Nay! (or Neigh!) if we never even have a horse, or if we have a horse and don’t take care of him, never feed, groom and exercise him, then the cart really won’t do us much good.
I would like to conclude these ramblings with a few wise words from Jethro Tull – not the Rock Band Jethro Tull, but the Jethro Tull who was born in March of 1674, invented the horse-drawn seed drill, and wrote the book entitled, Horse-hoeing Husbandry, which was said to have been one of the most cherished works in Thomas Jefferson’s library, until, of course, the library caught fire. I would love to quote a few words from Tull, but, I’m ashamed to admit, I have never read his works, and I have never had a copy of his book.
I will, however tell you this, “Giddy-Up” is just a quickened form of the phrase, “Get ye up.”

Copyright April 3d, 2011 by Earnest Publications


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