Roots of Bitternes

You will, I am certain, remember the nursery rhyme:

Baa! Baa! black sheep, Have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, Three bags full. One for the master, One for the dame, One for the little boy Who lives down the lane.

Could it be that when the children composed this simple verse, they understood that it was only the figurative black sheep that would, because it was itself excluded, have sufficient sense of justice and compassion to remember the little boy down the lane? Was it because they had seen in practice that the white sheep apportioned only a tenth of its wool, or none at all, to the little boy down the lane?

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