The Rope Dance

A Boy was learning to dance on a Rope but objected to the long pole he had to carry. So, he threw it down and quickly followed. Lesson learned!

Some must learn the hard way.


A boy, whose stock of patience was none of the largest, went to take lessons in dancing on the tight rope of an old and experienced teacher. The lad often objected to the use of the balancing-pole, and one day exclaimed to his master, “Why, sir, what is the good of this great long pole? I could get on much better without it. It is always in my way, and is heavy besides. I am strong and active, and am quite sure that I could dance better without this or any other pole. Now, just watch my steps, and judge for yourself;” saying which the youngster threw the pole to the ground, and in half a minute he lay beside it, having lost his hold of the rope as soon almost as he threw aside the pole. “Ah, you silly, self-willed boy!” exclaimed the master; “you would have your own way, and so you have nearly broken your neck. Let me tell you that that’s not the last fall you’ll have, if you think you can do without the help of art, advice, and method.”

Rope Dance

Ernest Griset (1874)