“There, now,” said a kitten, triumphantly, laying a passive mouse at the feet of her mother. “I flatter myself I am coming on with a reasonable degree of rapidity. What will become of the minor quadrupeds when I have attained my full strength and ferocity, it is mournful to conjecture!”
“Did he give you much trouble?” inquired the aged ornament of the hearth-side, with a look of tender solicitude.
“Trouble!” echoed the kitten, “I never had such a fight in all my life! He was a downright savage—in his day.”
“My Falstaffian issue,” rejoined the Tabby, dropping her eyelids and composing her head for a quiet sleep, “the above is a toy mouse.”
A crab who had travelled from the mouth of the Indus all the way to Ispahan, knocked, with much chuckling, at the door of the King’s physician.
“Who’s there?” shouted the doctor, from his divan within.
“A bad case of cancer,” was the complacent reply.
“Good!” returned the doctor; “I’ll cure you, my friend.”
So saying, he conducted his facetious patient into the kitchen, and potted him in pickle. It cured him—of practical jocularity.
May the fable heal you, if you are afflicted with that form of evil.
A certain magician owned a learned pig, who had lived a cleanly gentlemanly life, achieving great fame, and winning the hearts of all the people. But perceiving he was not happy, the magician, by a process easily explained did space permit, transformed him into a man. Straightway the creature abandoned his cards, his timepiece, his musical instruments, and all other devices of his profession, and betook him to a pool of mud, wherein he inhumed himself to the tip of his nose.
“Ten minutes ago,” said the magician reprovingly, “you would have scorned to do an act like that.”
“True,” replied the biped, with a contented grunt; “I was then a learned pig; I am now a learned man.”
“Nature has been very kind to her creatures,” said a giraffe to an elephant. “For example, your neck being so very short, she has given you a proboscis wherewith to reach your food; and I having no proboscis, she has bestowed upon me a long neck.”
“I think, my good friend, you have been among the theologians,” said the elephant. “I doubt if I am clever enough to argue with you. I can only say it does not strike me that way.”
“But, really,” persisted the giraffe, “you must confess your trunk is a great convenience, in that it enables you to reach the high branches of which you are so fond, even as my long neck enables me.”
“Perhaps,” mused the ungrateful pachyderm, “if we could not reach the higher branches, we should develop a taste for the lower ones.”