I work as hard as my brothers do
Outcast, though I am
I am short and stubby, too
They are lean and tan
My cousin has the same affliction
His kin look down on him
We suffer, us, this poor condition
Though it may seem grim
He and I are strong and hardy
Strongest of the lot
Critical to work are we
Even though we're squat
Try to work without us and
You'll find it most unpleasant
You may be need a helping hand
If we are not present
There are those that we relate to
Somewhere south they prowl
From dealing with them we eschew
For they smell most foul
If I am lost you can replace
Me with one of them
I would suggest, though, in his place
You use one of his kin
Now, who am I that moves so free
And who are my brothers?
Who's my cousin and where is he?
To the south, who are the others?
You are the thumb.
which is short ad stubby but has greater freedom of movement compared to the brothers
who are lean and tall but not as strong.
The cousin I guess is the
thumb on the other hand
Finally down south are
the smelly toes. It appears that you can surgically replace a missing thumb with a big toe which is pretty crazy stuff.
$\begingroup$ Well done. I was deliberate about not being too cryptic but I guess it could have used a little more mystery than I gave it. This is close enough to exactly right so you get the tick. You'll get the +1, too, if you can be more specific about those to the south. Stanza 6 indicates that it should be a particular digit. $\endgroup$ May 6, 2015 at 19:07
$\begingroup$ If you had made it any more cryptic I probably wouldn't have got it. Riddles are not really my strength. $\endgroup$– BobMay 6, 2015 at 19:17