The farmer and the boy in the bog story

(helping others, inspiration, gratitude and appreciation, good comes from doing good)

This widely used story is often told as if it’s a true story. It is most certainly not. It is an urban legend, but even as such, the story contains great lessons and is very inspirational.

Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day at work in a field he heard a cry for help. Following the sound, Fleming came to a deep bog, in which a boy was stuck up to his chest, screaming and sinking. Farmer Fleming tied a rope around his own waist and the other end to a tree, and waded into the bog. After a mighty struggle in which it seemed they would both perish, the exhausted farmer pulled himself and the boy to safety. He took the lad back to the farmhouse, where Mrs Fleming fed him, dried his clothes, and when satisfied he had recovered, sent him on his way home.

The next day a carriage arrived at the Fleming’s humble farmhouse. An well-dressed man stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy whom Fleming had saved. “You saved my son’s life,” said the man to Fleming, “How can I repay you?”

“I don’t want payment,” Fleming replied, “Anyone would have done the same.”

At that moment, Fleming’s own young son appeared at the farmhouse door.

“Is he your son?” the man asked.

“Yes,” said Fleming proudly.

“I have an idea. Let me pay for his education. If he’s like his father, he’ll grow to be a man we’ll both be proud of.”

And so he did. The farmer’s son attended the very best schools, graduated medical college, and later became the world-renowned Nobel prize-winning scientist and discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming.

It is said that many years later, the grown man who’d been saved from the bog as a boy, was stricken with pneumonia.

Penicillin saved his life. His name? Sir Winston Churchill. Someone once said: What goes around comes around. Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.

Core IHS believes in laying down strong roots. These connect service and a quality product with dynamic healthcare professionals. Making sure our fundamental principles of fairness, value, longevity, quality, response and care are centrefold and by helping others, we will succeed in inspiring and affecting positive change.

(We repeat this is an urban legend – it is not a true story. According to the Winston Churchill Centre in Washington, D.C., this is a myth. There is no evidence these events ever happened. Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, says there’s no record of Churchill nearly drowning or of his father paying for Fleming’s education. Churchill was once treated for pneumonia, but according to the centre, not with penicillin.)

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