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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.

“Fine morning!” said the horse, who, fired by her example, was curvetting lithely and tossing his head.

“That rather uninteresting fact,” replied the cow, attending strictly to her business as a ruminant, “does not impress me as justifying your execution of all manner of unseemly contortions, as a preliminary to accosting an entire stranger.”

“Well, n—­no,” stammered the horse; “I—­I suppose not.  Fact is I—­I—­no offence, I hope.”

And the unhappy charger walked soberly away, dazed by the preternatural effrontery of that placid cow.

When overcome by the dignity of any one you chance to meet, try to have this fable about you.

LXV.

“What have you there on your back?” said a zebra, jeeringly, to a “ship of the desert” in ballast.

“Only a bale of gridirons,” was the meek reply.

“And what, pray, may you design doing with them?” was the incredulous rejoinder.

“What am I to do with gridirons?” repeated the camel, contemptuously.  “Nice question for you, who have evidently just come off one!”

People who wish to throw stones should not live in glass houses; but there ought to be a few in their vicinity.

LXVI.

A cat, waking out of a sound sleep, saw a mouse sitting just out of reach, observing her.  Perceiving that at the slightest movement of hers the mouse would recollect an engagement, she put on a look of extreme amiability, and said: 

“Oh! it’s you, is it?  Do you know, I thought at first you were a frightful great rat; and I am so afraid of rats!  I feel so much relieved—­you don’t know!  Of course you have heard that I am a great friend to the dear little mice?”

[Illustration]

“Yes,” was the answer, “I have heard that you love us indifferently well, and my mission here was to bless you while you slept.  But as you will wish to go and get your breakfast, I won’t bore you.  Fine morning—­isn’t it? Au revoir!"

This fable teaches that it is usually safe to avoid one who pretends to be a friend without having any reason to be.  It wasn’t safe in this instance, however; for the cat went after that departing rodent, and got away with him.

LXVII.

A man pursued by a lion, was about stepping into a place of safety, when he bethought him of the power of the human eye; and, turning about, he fixed upon his pursuer a steady look of stern reproof.  The raging beast immediately moderated his rate per hour, and finally came to a dead halt, within a yard of the man’s nose.  After making a leisurely survey of him, he extended his neck and bit off a small section of his victim’s thigh.

“Beard of Arimanes!” roared the man; “have you no respect for the Human Eye?”

“I hold the human eye in profound esteem,” replied the lion, “and I confess its power.  It assists digestion if taken just before a meal.  But I don’t understand why you should have two and I none.”

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