Taken from the Ontario Farmer, Feb 10, 2004
Contributed by: Diane Dowling

Dear son:
Everything you need to know about this world, you can learn from holding on to this shovel.

With this shovel, you can learn the mysteries of the world and the humans who inhabit it. Since I’ve been hole-making for many years, I feel it is time to tell you a few of the things I have learned.

The first rule of holes:
When you find you are in one, stop digging.

If you find you have made a mistake, then own up to it and get on with life. Don’t make it worse by digging die hole deeper. It never works and soon you cannot get out.

The second rule of holes:
Decide if this is the ditch you want to die in.

An extended hole is called a ditch. A ditch is useful for many things. But what this rule means is that when a battle gets really down and dirty, the fighting takes to me ditches. There are many issues in our society and world that you could fight for, but you always have to ask whether it is important enough to warrant the fight that may ensue. With every issue and argument you start, remember the shovel and ask, is this the ditch I want to die in?

The third rule of holes:
You cannot dig a hole while standing on the shovel.

Well, try it. Nothing of value occurs in the hole world if you cling to the shovel. You have to take a step back, get a solid place to stand, and then you make your hole.

The fourth rule of holes:
When you dig a hole, all of the dirt does not go back in.

There is always going to be dirt left over. You have to deal with this. It’s yours.

The fifth rule of holes:
Know where you are going to put your dirt pile before you start.

When digging your hole, know where you are going to put your pile of dirt. Put it far enough away to start so that it does not flow back into the hole as the pile gets deeper. Put it somewhere where you won’t have to move it again.

The sixth rule of holes:
There are hole-makers, and hole-watchers, and a hole lot more.

In the world someone has to make the holes and run the shovel. Others watch the hole being made, others decide where the holes should be, or who should be punished if they are in the wrong spot. Other count the holes, and others sell the holes. All are worthwhile occupations, so decide which job in the hole process you want to do. Then do it the best you can.

The seventh rule of holes:
All holes fill in over time

Holes are not natural. Nature doesn’t like permanent holes. They do fill in. Enjoy the hole you make do a good job of making it, but don’t expect it to last.