A spaniel at the point of death requested a mastiff friend to eat him.
“It would soothe my last moments,” said he, “to know that when I am no longer of any importance to myself I may still be useful to you.”
“Much obliged, I am sure,” replied his friend; “I think you mean well, but you should know that my appetite is not so depraved as to relish dog.”
Perhaps it is for a similar reason we abstain from cannibalism.
A cloud was passing across the face of the sun, when the latter expostulated with him.
“Why,” said the sun, “when you have so much space to float in, should you be casting your cold shadow upon me?”
After a moment’s reflection, the cloud made answer thus:
“I certainly had no intention of giving offence by my presence, and as for my shadow, don’t you think you have made a trifling mistake?—not a gigantic or absurd mistake, but merely one that would disgrace an idiot.”
At this the great luminary was furious, and fell so hotly upon him that in a few minutes there was nothing of him left.
It is very foolish to bandy words with a cloud if you happen to be the sun.
A rabbit travelling leisurely along the highway was seen, at some distance, by a duck, who had just come out of the water.
“Well, I declare!” said she, “if I could not walk without limping in that ridiculous way, I’d stay at home. Why, he’s a spectacle!”
“Did you ever see such an ungainly beast as that duck!” said the rabbit to himself. “If I waddled like that I should go out only at night.”
MORAL, BY A KANGAROO.—People who are ungraceful of gait are always intolerant of mind.
A fox who dwelt in the upper chamber of an abandoned watch-tower, where he practised all manner of magic, had by means of his art subjected all other animals to his will. One day he assembled a great multitude of them below his window, and commanded that each should appear in his presence, and all who could not teach him some important truth should be thrown off the walls and dashed to pieces. Upon hearing this they were all stricken with grief, and began to lament their hard fate most piteously.
“How,” said they, “shall we, who are unskilled in magic, unread in philosophy, and untaught in the secrets of the stars—who have neither wit, eloquence, nor song—how shall we essay to teach wisdom to the wise?”
Nevertheless, they were compelled to make the attempt. After many had failed and been dispatched, another fox arrived on the ground, and learning the condition of affairs, scampered slyly up the steps, and whispered something in the ear of the cat, who was about entering the tower. So the latter stuck her head in at the door, and shrieked: