They escaped this melancholy fate, however, for some Chaldean shepherds, seeing a nebulous cloud drifting athwart the heavens, and obscuring a favourite planet they had just invented, brought out their most powerful telescopes and resolved it into independent cows—whom they proceeded to slaughter in detail with the instruments of smaller calibre. There have been occasional “meat showers” ever since. These are probably nothing more than—
[Our author can be depended upon in matters of fact; his scientific theories are not worth printing.—TRANSLATOR.]
A bear, who had worn himself out walking from one end of his cage to the other, addressed his keeper thus:
“I say, friend, if you don’t procure me a shorter cage I shall have to give up zoology; it is about the most wearing pursuit I ever engaged in. I favour the advancement of science, but the mechanical part of it is a trifle severe, and ought to be done by contract.”
“You are quite right, my hearty,” said the keeper, “it is severe; and there have been several excellent plans proposed to lighten the drudgery. Pending the adoption of some of them, you would find a partial relief in lying down and keeping quiet.”
“It won’t do—it won’t do!” replied the bear, with a mournful shake of the head, “it’s not the orthodox thing. Inaction may do for professors, collectors, and others connected with the ornamental part of the noble science; but for us, we must keep moving, or zoology would soon revert to the crude guesses and mistaken theories of the azoic period. And yet,” continued the beast, after the keeper had gone, “there is something novel and ingenious in what the underling suggests. I must remember that; and when I have leisure, give it a trial.”
It was noted next day that the noble science had lost an active apostle, and gained a passive disciple.
A hen who had hatched out a quantity of ducklings, was somewhat surprised one day to see them take to the water, and sail away out of her jurisdiction. The more she thought of this the more unreasonable such conduct appeared, and the more indignant she became. She resolved that it must cease forthwith. So she soon afterward convened her brood, and conducted them to the margin of a hot pool, having a business connection with the boiling spring of Doo-sno-swair. They straightway launched themselves for a cruise—returning immediately to the land, as if they had forgotten their ship’s papers.
When Callow Youth exhibits an eccentric tendency, give it him hot.
“Did it ever occur to you that this manner of thing is extremely unpleasant?” asked a writhing worm of the angler who had impaled him upon a hook. “Such treatment by those who boast themselves our brothers is, possibly, fraternal—but it hurts.”