Watching two cows lazing under the trees
Switching their tails aimlessly
For no flies were around
As pesticides had been their doom.
Nevertheless they stood there
Batting the breeze - that is the air
With the tail they controlled
Swinging back and forth so bold.
Reminding one of the story told
in Mirror of Fools (Speculum stultorum)
Where two cows lying in the water
In the dark of winter
Found their tails frozen fast
What to do? Alas.
One with a knife how she did it is not told
Cut her tail off in a stroke so bold
Freeing her from the icy clasp
But would suffer come summer at last
For how was she to swat flies and other pest
And be given not a moment's rest.
Her sister chose to remain trapped in the ice
Waiting for the thaw that came at last
Freeing her to go on her way
With tail attached and did gaily sway.
The moral of the story is hard to find
For the author had a clumsy mind
And forgot to tell us but left us to guess
Think first and long before making a mess
For otherwise (It's true)
The Ass is surely you.
And so we have Brunellus the Ass, A Mirror of Fools, Speculum stultorum or Daun Brunellus, if you prefer by the original author who provides confusion aplenty in the Latin as either Nigel Longcamp or Nigellus Wireker.
Translated by Graydon W. Regenos, J. H. Mozley and many others in languages not our own.