“Pullets with a southern exposure ripen earliest, and have yellow legs.”
At this the magician was so delighted that he dissolved the spell and let them all go free.
One evening a jackass, passing between a village and a hill, looked over the latter and saw the faint light of the rising moon.
“Ho-ho, Master Redface!” said he, “so you are climbing up the other side to point out my long ears to the villagers, are you? I’ll just meet you at the top, and set my heels into your insolent old lantern.”
So he scrambled painfully up to the crest, and stood outlined against the broad disc of the unconscious luminary, more conspicuously a jackass than ever before.
A bear wishing to rob a beehive, laid himself down in front of it, and overturned it with his paw.
“Now,” said he, “I will lie perfectly still and let the bees sting me until they are exhausted and powerless; their honey may then be obtained without opposition.”
And it was so obtained, but by a fresh bear, the other being dead.
This narrative exhibits one aspect of the “Fabian policy.”
A cat seeing a mouse with a piece of cheese, said:
“I would not eat that, if I were you, for I think it is poisoned. However, if you will allow me to examine it, I will tell you certainly whether it is or not.”
While the mouse was thinking what it was best to do, the cat had fully made up her mind, and was kind enough to examine both the cheese and the mouse in a manner highly satisfactory to herself, but the mouse has never returned to give his opinion.
An improvident man, who had quarrelled with his wife concerning household expenses, took her and the children out on the lawn, intending to make an example of her. Putting himself in an attitude of aggression, and turning to his offspring, he said:
“You will observe, my darlings, that domestic offences are always punished with a loss of blood. Make a note of this and be wise.”
He had no sooner spoken than a starving mosquito settled upon his nose, and began to assist in enforcing the lesson.
“My officious friend,” said the man, “when I require illustrations from the fowls of the air, you may command my patronage. The deep interest you take in my affairs is, at present, a trifle annoying.”
“I do not find it so,” the mosquito would have replied had he been at leisure, “and am convinced that our respective points of view are so widely dissimilar as not to afford the faintest hope of reconciling our opinions upon collateral points. Let us be thankful that upon the main question of bloodletting we perfectly agree.”