The first person to survive plunging over Niagara Falls in a barrel was Annie Edson Taylor, a former schoolteacher. She hoped to achieve financial stability by doing the act of daredevilry, on her 63rd birthday, 24 October 1901. She later said she would rather be blown to pieces by a cannon than ever do it again. If you look carefully at the photograph above, you can see the cat that survived the 51-meter (167-foot) plunge in a wooden pickle barrel, 2 days before Annie did it. Miss Taylor initially succeeded in her effort to achieve fame and fortune following the harrowing stunt, but her manager ran off with her barrel. She spent a great deal of money on detectives, trying to locate the barrel and get it back, and consequently, she passed on destitute 20 years later at 83 years of age. The moral of the story? Guard your barrel carefully or you will go broke trying to get it back . . . no, wait - that can’t be right . . . maybe it is: Be careful of the kind of people you associate with, because they could steal your hard-earned success away from you and leave you with nothing.
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