Thursday, May 20, 2021



I happened to mention the below classic old poem to Kate yesterday and thought it was worthy of a wider airing.

I have tried to source its origin but there are a multitude of explanations.

Those wishing to link to a site that discusses the possible origins can visit The Mudcat Café at:

Go to for the home page and see the list of topics discussed. As Spock would say:


The Preservation of Man

The horse and mule live 30 years
And nothing know of wines and beers.
The goat and sheep at 20 die
And never taste of Scotch or Rye.

The cow drinks water by the ton
And at 18 is mostly done.
The dog at 15 cashes in
Without the aid of rum and gin.

The cat in milk and water soaks
And then in 12 short years it croaks.
The modest, sober, bone-dry hen
Lays eggs for nogs then dies at ten.

All animals are strictly dry:
They sinless live and swiftly die;
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
Survive for threescore years and ten.

And some of them, a very few,
Stay pickled till they're 92.


The fact that the poem refers to the allotted life span as threescore and ten indicates how old the poem is.

The fact that the poem refers to ginful, rum-soaked men indicates either political incorrectness in not being non-gender specific, or that the author had a lower estimation of the male species.


A correction and apology.

In a post a few days ago about bad-ass elderly people, I threw into the mix my father in law Noel, saying that he was 91 and still active, studying etc.

I got that wrong. He is 94.

Sorry Nelly.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.


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