The story is told of a farmer who had an old mule. One day, the old mule was walking across the field and fell into a well. The mule, as old as he was, could not get up on his own, so he stayed in that position for several hours. The farmer came looking for the mule and found him stuck in the well. He contemplated getting the mule out the well, but after further assessment of the situation, the farmer decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving.
In order to get rid of the mule and the well, he called his farmer friends together and asked them to help him shovel dirt on top of the mule so that the mule would eventually be buried and the well covered up. It seemed like a plausible idea and they agreed to help. As the farmer and his friends were shoveling their hearts out, the mule was surprised, even shocked.
But as the farmer and his friends kept dumping dirt on the old mule, an idea came to its mind: He could let them bury him or he could shake it off and keep gettin' up. He suddenly found himself, slowly but surely, rising with each new dump of dirt. As the dirt kept coming, he kept shaking it off and gettin' up, shaking it off and gettin' up, shaking it off and gettin' up. They kept throwing and he kept rising.