Cobwebs from an Empty Skull eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.

“Ah!” meditated the unhappy beast, “I have performed one miracle, but I can’t keep it up all day, you know.  The explanation demanded is a trifle too heavy for even the ponderous ingenuity of a marsupial.”

And he permitted himself to be sodded over.

If the reader knows what lesson is conveyed by this narrative, he knows—­just what the writer knows.


Three animals on board a sinking ship prepared to take to the water.  It was agreed among them that the bear should be lowered alongside; the mouse (who was to act as pilot) should embark upon him at once, to beat off the drowning sailors; and the monkey should follow, with provisions for the expedition—­which arrangement was successfully carried out.  The fourth day out from the wreck, the bear began to propound a series of leading questions concerning dinner; when it appeared that the monkey had provided but a single nut.

“I thought this would keep me awhile,” he explained, “and you could eat the pilot.”

Hearing this, the mouse vanished like a flash into the bear’s ear, and fearing the hungry beast would then demand the nut, the monkey hastily devoured it.  Not being in a position to insist upon his rights, the bear merely gobbled up the monkey.



A lamb suffering from thirst went to a brook to drink.  Putting his nose to the water, he was interested to feel it bitten by a fish.  Not liking fish, he drew back and sought another place; but his persecutor getting there before him administered the same rebuff.  The lamb being rather persevering, and the fish having no appointments for that day, this was repeated a few thousand times, when the former felt justified in swearing: 

“I’m eternally boiled!” said he, “if ever I experienced so many fish in all my life.  It is discouraging.  It inspires me with mint sauce and green peas.”

He probably meant amazement and fear; under the influence of powerful emotions even lambs will talk “shop.”

“Well, good bye,” said his tormentor, taking a final nip at the animal’s muzzle; “I should like to amuse you some more; but I have other fish to fry.”

This tale teaches a good quantity of lessons; but it does not teach why this fish should have persecuted this lamb.


A mole, in pursuing certain geological researches, came upon the buried carcase of a mule, and was about to tunnel him.

“Slow down, my good friend,” said the deceased.  “Push your mining operations in a less sacrilegious direction.  Respect the dead, as you hope for death!”

“You have that about you,” said the gnome, “that must make your grave respected in a certain sense, for at least such a period as your immortal part may require for perfect exhalation.  The immunity I accord is not conceded to your sanctity, but extorted by your scent.  The sepulchres of moles only are sacred.”

Project Gutenberg
Cobwebs from an Empty Skull from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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