Proverb – American

” You don’t learn anything the second time the mule kicks you in your head”

Barry informed me that he learned this proverb as a young child approximately age 8 from his father, Leonard.  The context in which he learned the proverb was after he had broken a second glass cup in the past week.  In a playful demeanor, his father said, “you don’t learn anything the second time the mule kicks you in your head.”  Barry recalls his father using many of these playful, light-hearted sayings to teach Barry important life lessons when he was a young boy.  Barry strongly believes that his father’s use of these proverbs helped him remember these important lessons much more so than if he had learned them through everyday, mundane conversations.

Barry believes the proverb to mean “you don’t learn anything the second time you make a mistake.”  He recalls that as soon as his father told him this saying, he was sure to never make the same boneheaded mistake twice.  Barry taught this same proverb to his children when they were young in order to instill the same ideas in them.

I believe that the explanation Barry provided was spot on.  I do not think there is any other way to interpret this good-natured proverb.  It is an excellent proverb to teach to young children as it both teaches them a lesson as well as gives them a good laugh by making light of the situation.