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Earl S. Johnson Jr.

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Bees and vinegar: How should elders treat people?

A woman who lives near the church likes to walk her dogs in the Rockwood State Forest. One day her two Labs disappeared into the brush and a minute later one of them came flying through the air, collapsing in a whining heap on the trail. He had encountered a mother bear and her two cubs in the blackberry bramble and she was not happy to make his acquaintance. The dog survived after all the puncture wounds in his neck healed. Truly he was well shaken and stirred.

This story reminded me of the old saying I used to hear a lot as a youngster: "It is easier to catch bees with honey than with vinegar." It is hard to know where it comes from, but it makes a lot of sense.

Of course, it is also possible to snare bears with honey and we all know how to be tough on people we meet when necessary. Personally, I prefer honey when I have the choice.

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