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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.

“Too bad, too bad,” said a young Abyssinian to a yawning hippopotamus.

“What is ‘too bad?’” inquired the quadruped.  “What is the matter with you?”

“Oh, I never complain,” was the reply; “I was only thinking of the niggard economy of Nature in building a great big beast like you and not giving him any mouth.”

“H’m, h’m! it was still worse,” mused the beast, “to construct a great wit like you and give him no seasonable occasion for the display of his cleverness.”

A moment later there were a cracking of bitten bones, a great gush of animal fluids, the vanishing of two black feet—­in short, the fatal poisoning of an indiscreet hippopotamus.

The rubbing of a bit of lemon about the beaker’s brim is the finishing-touch to a whiskey punch.  Much misery may be thus averted.

CV.

A salmon vainly attempted to leap up a cascade.  After trying a few thousand times, he grew so fatigued that he began to leap less and think more.  Suddenly an obvious method of surmounting the difficulty presented itself to the salmonic intelligence.

“Strange,” he soliloquized, as well as he could in the water,—­“very strange I did not think of it before!  I’ll go above the fall and leap downwards.”

So he went out on the bank, walked round to the upper side of the fall, and found he could leap over quite easily.  Ever afterwards when he went up-stream in the spring to be caught, he adopted this plan.  He has been heard to remark that the price of salmon might be brought down to a merely nominal figure, if so many would not wear themselves out before getting up to where there is good fishing.

CVI.

“The son of a jackass,” shrieked a haughty mare to a mule who had offended her by expressing an opinion, “should cultivate the simple grace of intellectual humility.”

“It is true,” was the meek reply, “I cannot boast an illustrious ancestry; but at least I shall never be called upon to blush for my posterity.  Yonder mule colt is as proper a son—­”

“Yonder mule colt?” interrupted the mare, with a look of ineffable contempt for her auditor; “that is my colt!”

“The consort of a jackass and the mother of mules,” retorted he, quietly, “should cultivate the simple thingamy of intellectual whatsitsname.”

The mare muttered something about having some shopping to do, threw on her harness, and went out to call a cab.

CVII.

“Hi! hi!” squeaked a pig, running after a hen who had just left her nest; “I say, mum, you dropped this ’ere.  It looks wal’able; which I fetched it along!” And splitting his long face, he laid a warm egg at her feet.

“You meddlesome bacon!” cackled the ungrateful bird; “if you don’t take that orb directly back, I ’ll sit on you till I hatch you out of your saddle-cover!”

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