Grant And The Colt
( Originally Published 1902 )
ULYSSES GRANT, when a boy, took a fancy to a colt in the neighborhood, and begged his father to let him buy him. His father hesitated, but the boy was so anxious about it that he gave his consent. His father told him to get it for about twenty dollars if possible ; if not, for twenty-twoand a half, and if necessary to go as high as twenty-five.
Ulysses went over to the house of the neighbor, and said, " I want to buy that colt." What will you give me for him? " The boy replied, " Father said I was to offer you twenty dollars for him, and that if you would not take that to offer you twenty-two fifty, and if you would not take that for me to give you twenty-five." The man smiled as he said, " I will not let him go for a cent less than twenty-five." It was the sting of ridicule that this trade produced that made Grant cautious about revealing the prophecy of military greatness that he had in his bosom. Grant, though passionately fond of horses and a splendid rider, was a poor horse trader, a poor farmer outside of Saint Louis, a poor storekeeper in Galena, Illinois, a poor dealer in stocks in Wall street, but one of the greatest generals the world ever saw. Some are born to make money and some to lead an army. It is important for the individual and for society that each man follow the calling for which he is best adapted.