With that he raised his foot, unsheathed his claws, and transferred one of the gentleman’s visual organs to his own mouth.
“Now,” continued he, “during the brief remainder of a squandered existence, your lion-quelling power, being more highly concentrated, will be the more easily managed.”
He then devoured the remnant of his victim, including the other eye.
An ant laden with a grain of corn, which he had acquired with infinite toil, was breasting a current of his fellows, each of whom, as is their etiquette, insisted upon stopping him, feeling him all over, and shaking hands. It occurred to him that an excess of ceremony is an abuse of courtesy. So he laid down his burden, sat upon it, folded all his legs tight to his body, and smiled a smile of great grimness.
“Hullo! what’s the matter with you?” exclaimed the first insect whose overtures were declined.
“Sick of the hollow conventionalities of a rotten civilization,” was the rasping reply. “Relapsed into the honest simplicity of primitive observances. Go to grass!”
“Ah! then we must trouble you for that corn. In a condition of primitive simplicity there are no rights of property, you know. These are ‘hollow conventionalities.’”
A light dawned upon the intellect of that pismire. He shook the reefs out of his legs; he scratched the reverse of his ear; he grappled that cereal, and trotted away like a giant refreshed. It was observed that he submitted with a wealth of patience to manipulation by his friends and neighbours, and went some distance out of his way to shake hands with strangers on competing lines of traffic.
A snake who had lain torpid all winter in his hole took advantage of the first warm day to limber up for the spring campaign. Having tied himself into an intricate knot, he was so overcome by the warmth of his own body that he fell asleep, and did not wake until nightfall. In the darkness he was unable to find his head or his tail, and so could not disentangle and slide into his hole. Per consequence, he froze to death.
Many a subtle philosopher has failed to solve himself, owing to his inability to discern his beginning and his end.
A dog finding a joint of mutton, apparently guarded by a negligent raven, stretched himself before it with an air of intense satisfaction.
“Ah!” said he, alternately smiling and stopping up the smiles with meat, “this is an instrument of salvation to my stomach—an instrument upon which I love to perform.”
“I beg your pardon!” said the bird; “it was placed there specially for me, by one whose right to so convey it is beyond question, he having legally acquired it by chopping it off the original owner.”