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- Fables for the Frivolous - 1/7 -


FABLES FOR THE FRIVOLOUS

_(With Apologies to La Fontaine)_

By GUY WETMORE CARRYL

With Illustrations by Peter Newell

1898

FABLES FOR THE FRIVOLOUS

TO MY FATHER

NOTE: I have pleasure in acknowledging the courteous permission the editors to reprint in this form such of the following fables were originally published in Harper's periodicals, in _Life_, and _Munsey's Magazine_.

G. W. C.

CONTENTS

THE AMBITIOUS FOX AND THE UNAPPROACHABLE GRAPES

THE PERSEVERING TORTOISE AND THE PRETENTIOUS HARE

THE PATRICIAN PEACOCKS AND THE OVERWEENING JAY

THE ARROGANT FROG AND THE SUPERIOR BULL

THE DOMINEERING EAGLE AND THE INVENTIVE BRATLING

THE ICONOCLASTIC RUSTIC AND THE APROPOS ACORN

THE UNUSUAL GOOSE AND THE IMBECILIC WOODCUTTER

THE RUDE RAT AND THE UNOSTENTATIOUS OYSTER

THE URBAN RAT AND THE SUBURBAN RAT

THE IMPECUNIOUS CRICKET AND THE FRUGAL ANT

THE PAMPERED LAPDOG AND THE MISGUIDED ASS

THE VAINGLORIOUS OAK AND THE MODEST BULRUSH

THE INHUMAN WOLF AND THE LAMB SANS GENE

THE SYCOPHANTIC FOX AND THE GULLIBLE RAVEN

THE MICROSCOPIC TROUT AND THE MACHIAVELIAN FISHERMAN

THE CONFIDING PEASANT AND THE MALADROIT BEAR

THE PRECIPITATE COCK AND THE UNAPPRECIATED PEARL

THE ABBREVIATED FOX AND HIS SCEPTICAL COMRADES

THE HOSPITABLE CALEDONIAN AND THE THANKLESS VIPER

THE IMPETUOUS BREEZE AND THE DIPLOMATIC SUN

ILLUSTRATIONS

"THE FOX RETREATED OUT OF RANGE"

"HE STROVE TO GROW ROTUNDER"

"AN ACORN FELL ABRUPTLY"

"SAID SHE, 'GET UP, YOU BRUTE YOU!'"

"'_J'ADMIRE_,' SAID HE, '_TON BEAU PLUMAGE'_"

"AND SO A WEIGHTY ROCK SHE AIMED"

THE AMBITIOUS FOX

AND

THE UNAPPROACHABLE GRAPES

A farmer built around his crop A wall, and crowned his labors By placing glass upon the top To lacerate his neighbors, Provided they at any time Should feel disposed the wall to climb.

He also drove some iron pegs Securely in the coping, To tear the bare, defenceless legs Of brats who, upward groping, Might steal, despite the risk of fall, The grapes that grew upon the wall.

One day a fox, on thieving bent, A crafty and an old one, Most shrewdly tracked the pungent scent That eloquently told one That grapes were ripe and grapes were good And likewise in the neighborhood.

He threw some stones of divers shapes The luscious fruit to jar off: It made him ill to see the grapes So near and yet so far off. His throws were strong, his aim was fine, But "Never touched me!" said the vine.

The farmer shouted, "Drat the boys!" And, mounting on a ladder, He sought the cause of all the noise; No farmer could be madder, Which was not hard to understand Because the glass had cut his hand.

His passion he could not restrain, But shouted out, "You're thievish!" The fox replied, with fine disdain, "Come, country, don't be peevish." (Now "country" is an epithet One can't forgive, nor yet forget.)

The farmer rudely answered back With compliments unvarnished, And downward hurled the _bric-a-brac_ With which the wall was garnished, In view of which demeanor strange, The fox retreated out of range.

"I will not try the grapes to-day," He said. "My appetite is Fastidious, and, anyway, I fear appendicitis." (The fox was one of the _elite_ Who call it _site_ instead of _seet_.)

The moral is that if your host Throws glass around his entry You know it isn't done by most Who claim to be the gentry, While if he hits you in the head You may be sure he's underbred.

THE PERSEVERING TORTOISE

AND

THE PRETENTIOUS HARE

Once a turtle, finding plenty In seclusion to bewitch, Lived a _dolce far niente_ Kind of life within a ditch; Rivers had no charm for him, As he told his wife and daughter, "Though my friends are in the swim, Mud is thicker far than water."

One fine day, as was his habit, He was dozing in the sun, When a young and flippant rabbit Happened by the ditch to run: "Come and race me," he exclaimed, "Fat inhabitant of puddles. Sluggard! You should be ashamed.


Fables for the Frivolous - 1/7

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