“Pray, sister,” said he very gently, but with a sinister twinkle of his eye teeth, “bring me some water from yon stream.”
“Certainly,” said the sheep, and she brought him a glass in which she had poured a few knock-out drops. As she sat on his corpse a little later she moralized in this manner: “Some clever people are wicked, but all wicked people are not clever by a d——d sight.”
[Illustration: The Wolf and the Sheep.]
The Ambitious Hippopotamus.
A hippopotamus who had dwelt contentedly for years on the banks of a reedy stream, looked up one day and saw an eagle.
She became immediately fired with a desire to fly. Having lived a staid and respectable life that could not but find favor in the eyes of the gods, she raised her voice in prayer.
Jove smiled a little, but granted her request.
On the instant a pair of broad, powerful wings were affixed to her shoulders.
She was naturally a trifle nervous about trying them at first, but finally mustered up her courage.
Away she swooped, and with a pardonable vanity took her course over a piece of jungle where some old friends lived.
Precisely thirty-eight seconds later a convention of animals, all swearing and trembling with fright, were trying to conceal themselves in the same three-by-four hole in the ground.
The effect on the other animals disconcerted the good-natured hippopotamus to such an extent that she lost control of herself and sailed through the forest like an avalanche on a bender. Down went the trees and crack went the branches, while horror-stricken beasts with bristling hair split the welkin with their shrieks.
The hippopotamus made for home at her best speed. Arriving over the familiar spot, she let go all holds and came down ker-splash in the mud, knocking the astonished little hippopotamuses out into mid-stream.
“Oh, Jupiter! take ’em off!” she gasped. “I now see that the hippopotamus was not intended to fly.”
It takes more than nine bloomers to make a man.
[Illustration: The Ambitious Hippopotamus.]
The Man and the Serpent.
A man, who had lived a beautiful purple life, went to sleep under a tree in the forest. Jove sent a huge serpent to destroy him. The man awakened as the reptile drew near.
“What a horrid sight!” he said. “But let us be thankful that the pink-and-green elephant and the feathered hippopotamus are not also in evidence.”
And he took a dose of bromide and commended himself again to sleep, while the serpent withdrew in some confusion.
Jove himself couldn’t get a job as Sunday-School Superintendent on his reputation.
[Illustration: The Man and the Serpent.]