“Apparently,” said he, “I have been guilty of some small grains of unconsidered wisdom, and the same have proven a bitterness to these excellent folk, the which they will not abide. Ah, well! those who produce the Strasburg pate and the feather-pillow are prone to regard us as rival creators. I presume it is in course of nature for him who grows the pen to censure the manner of its use.”
So speaking, he executed a smile a hand’s-breath in extent, and resumed his airy dream of dropping ducats.
For many years an opossum had anointed his tail with bear’s oil, but it remained stubbornly bald-headed. At last his patience was exhausted, and he appealed to Bruin himself, accusing him of breaking faith, and calling him a quack.
“Why, you insolent marsupial!” retorted the bear in a rage; “you expect my oil to give you hair upon your tail, when it will not give me even a tail. Why don’t you try under-draining, or top-dressing with light compost?”
They said and did a good deal more before the opossum withdrew his cold and barren member from consideration; but the judicious fabulist does not encumber his tale with extraneous matter, lest it be pointless.
“So disreputable a lot as you are I never saw!” said a sleepy rat to the casks in a wine-cellar. “Always making night hideous with your hoops and hollows, and disfiguring the day with your bunged-up appearance. There is no sleeping when once the wine has got into your heads. I’ll report you to the butler!”
“The sneaking tale-bearer,” said the casks. “Let us beat him with our staves.”
“Requiescat in pace,” muttered a learned cobweb, sententiously.
“Requires a cat in the place, does it?” shrieked the rat. “Then I’m off!”
To explain all the wisdom imparted by this fable would require the pen of a pig, and volumes of smoke.
A giraffe having trodden upon the tail of a poodle, that animal flew into a blind rage, and wrestled valorously with the invading foot.
“Hullo, sonny!” said the giraffe, looking down, “what are you doing there?”
“I am fighting!” was the proud reply; “but I don’t know that it is any of your business.”
“Oh, I have no desire to mix in,” said the good-natured giraffe. “I never take sides in terrestrial strife. Still, as that is my foot, I think—”
“Eh!” cried the poodle, backing some distance away and gazing upward, shading his eyes with his paw. “You don’t mean to say—by Jove it’s a fact! Well, that beats me! A beast of such enormous length—such preposterous duration, as it were—I wouldn’t have believed it! Of course I can’t quarrel with a non-resident; but why don’t you have a local agent on the ground?”