A humming-bird invited a vulture to dine with her. He accepted, but took the precaution to have an emetic along with him; and immediately after dinner, which consisted mainly of dew, spices, honey, and similar slops, he swallowed his corrective, and tumbled the distasteful viands out. He then went away, and made a good wholesome meal with his friend the ghoul. He has been heard to remark, that the taste for humming-bird fare is “too artificial for him.” He says, a simple and natural diet, with agreeable companions, cheerful surroundings, and a struggling moon, is best for the health, and most agreeable to the normal palate.
People with vitiated tastes may derive much profit from this opinion. Crede experto.
A certain terrier, of a dogmatic turn, asked a kitten her opinion of rats, demanding a categorical answer. The opinion, as given, did not possess the merit of coinciding with his own; whereupon he fell upon the heretic and bit her—bit her until his teeth were much worn and her body much elongated—bit her good! Having thus vindicated the correctness of his own view, he felt so amiable a satisfaction that he announced his willingness to adopt the opinion of which he had demonstrated the harmlessness. So he begged his enfeebled antagonist to re-state it, which she incautiously did. No sooner, however, had the superior debater heard it for the second time than he resumed his intolerance, and made an end of that unhappy cat.
“Heresy,” said he, wiping his mouth, “may be endured in the vigorous and lusty; but in a person lying at the very point of death such hardihood is intolerable.”
It is always intolerable.
A tortoise and an armadillo quarrelled, and agreed to fight it out. Repairing to a secluded valley, they put themselves into hostile array.
“Now come on!” shouted the tortoise, shrinking into the inmost recesses of his shell.
“All right,” shrieked the armadillo, coiling up tightly in his coat of mail; “I am ready for you!”
And thus these heroes waged the awful fray from morn till dewy eve, at less than a yard’s distance. There has never been anything like it; their endurance was something marvellous! During the night each combatant sneaked silently away; and the historian of the period obscurely alludes to the battle as “the naval engagement of the future.”