“Yeow!” she exclaimed; “it is enough to vex the soul of a cast-iron dog! Whenever I set out any milk to cool, somebody comes and seals it up tight as a drum!”
Then perceiving one another, and each thinking the other the offender, these enraged animals contended, and wrought a mutual extermination. Whereby two worthy consumers were lost to society, and a quantity of excellent food had to be given to the poor.
A mouse who had overturned an earthern jar was discovered by a cat, who entered from an adjoining room and began to upbraid him in the harshest and most threatening manner.
“You little wretch!” said she, “how dare you knock over that valuable urn? If it had been filled with hot water, and I had been lying before it asleep, I should have been scalded to death.”
“If it had been full of water,” pleaded the mouse, “it would not have upset.”
“But I might have lain down in it, monster!” persisted the cat.
“No, you couldn’t,” was the answer; “it is not wide enough.”
“Fiend!” shrieked the cat, smashing him with her paw; “I can curl up real small when I try.”
The ultima ratio of very angry people is frequently addressed to the ear of the dead.
In crossing a frozen pool, a monkey slipped and fell, striking upon the back of his head with considerable force, so that the ice was very much shattered. A peacock, who was strutting about on shore thinking what a pretty peacock he was, laughed immoderately at the mishap. N.B.—All laughter is immoderate when a fellow is hurt—if the fellow is oneself.
“Bah!” exclaimed the sufferer; “if you could see the beautiful prismatic tints I have knocked into this ice, you would laugh out of the other side of your bill. The splendour of your tail is quite eclipsed.”
Thus craftily did he inveigle the vain bird, who finally came and spread his tail alongside the fracture for comparison. The gorgeous feathers at once froze fast to the ice, and—in short, that artless fowl passed a very uncomfortable winter.
A volcano, having discharged a few million tons of stones upon a small village, asked the mayor if he thought that a tolerably good supply for building purposes.
“I think,” replied that functionary, “if you give us another dash of granite, and just a pinch of old red sandstone, we could manage with what you have already done for us. We would, however, be grateful for the loan of your crater to bake bricks.”
“Oh, certainly; parties served at their residences.” Then, after the man had gone, the mountain added, with mingled lava and contempt: “The most insatiable people I ever contracted to supply. They shall not have another pebble!”