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- Fables for the Frivolous - 3/7 -

In a single scathing word; And he sat him on a barrow, And he fashioned of this same Eagle's feather such an arrow As was worthy of the name.

Then he tried his bow, and, stringing It with caution and with care, Sent that arrow singing, winging Towards the eagle in the air. Straight it went, without an error, And the target, bathed in blood, Lurched, and lunged, and fell to _terra Firma_, landing with a thud.

"Bird of freedom," quoth the urchin, With an unrelenting frown, "You shall decorate a perch in The menagerie in town; But of feathers quite a cluster I shall first remove for Ma: Thanks to you, she'll have a duster For her precious _objets d'art_."

And THE MORAL is that pride is The precursor of a fall. Those beneath you to deride is Not expedient at all. Howsoever meek and humble Your inferiors may be, They perchance may make you tumble, So respect them. Q. E. D.




Reposing 'neath some spreading trees, A populistic bumpkin Amused himself by offering these Reflections on a pumpkin: "I would not, if the choice were mine, Grow things like that upon a vine, For how imposing it would be If pumpkins grew upon a tree."

Like other populists, you'll note, Of views enthusiastic, He'd learned by heart, and said by rote A creed iconoclastic; And in his dim, uncertain sight Whatever wasn't must be right, From which it follows he had strong Convictions that what was, was wrong.

As thus he sat beneath an oak An acorn fell abruptly And smote his nose: whereat he spoke Of acorns most corruptly. "Great Scott!" he cried. "The Dickens!" too, And other authors whom he knew, And having duly mentioned those, He expeditiously arose.

Then, though with pain he nearly swooned, He bathed his organ nasal With arnica, and soothed the wound With extract of witch hazel; And surely we may well excuse The victim if he changed his views: "If pumpkins fell from trees like that," He murmured, "Where would I be at?"

Of course it's wholly clear to you That when these words he uttered He proved conclusively he knew Which side his bread was buttered; And, if this point you have not missed, You'll learn to love this populist, The only one of all his kind With sense enough to change his mind.

THE MORAL: In the early spring A pumpkin-tree would be a thing Most gratifying to us all, But how about the early fall?




A woodcutter bought him a gander, Or at least that was what he supposed, As a matter of fact, 'twas a slander As a later occurrence disclosed; For they locked the bird up in the garret To fatten, the while it grew old, And it laid there a twenty-two carat Fine egg of the purest of gold!

There was much unaffected rejoicing In the home of the woodcutter then, And his wife, her exuberance voicing, Proclaimed him most lucky of men. "'Tis an omen of fortune, this gold egg," She said, "and of practical use, For this fowl doesn't lay any old egg, She's a highly superior goose."

Twas this creature's habitual custom, This laying of superfine eggs, And they made it their practice to dust 'em And pack them by dozens in kegs: But the woodcutter's mind being vapid And his foolishness more than profuse, In order to get them more rapid He slaughtered the innocent goose.

He made her a gruel of acid Which she very obligingly ate, And at once with a touchingly placid Demeanor succumbed to her fate. With affection that passed the platonic They buried her under the moss, And her epitaph wasn't ironic In stating, "We mourn for our loss."

And THE MORAL: It isn't much use, As the woodcutter found to be true, To lay for an innocent goose Just because she is laying for you.




Upon the shore, a mile or more From traffic and confusion, An oyster dwelt, because he felt A longing for seclusion; Said he: "I love the stillness of This spot. It's like a cloister." (These words I quote because, you note, They rhyme so well with oyster.)

A prying rat, believing that She needed change of diet, In search of such disturbed this much- To-be-desired quiet. To say the least, this tactless beast Was apt to rudely roister: She tapped his shell, and called him--well, A name that hurt the oyster.

"I see," she cried, "you're open wide, And, searching for a reason, September's here, and so it's clear That oysters are in season." She smiled a smile that showed this style Of badinage rejoiced her, Advanced a pace with easy grace, And _sniffed_ the silent oyster.

The latter's pride was sorely tried, He thought of what he _could _say, Reflected what the common lot Of vulgar molluscs _would_ say; Then caught his breath, grew pale as death, And, as his brow turned moister, Began to close, and nipped her nose! Superb, dramatic oyster!

We note with joy that oi polloi, Whom maidens bite the thumb at, Are apt to try some weak reply To things they should be dumb at. THE MORAL, then, for crafty men Is: When a maid has voiced her Contemptuous heart, don't think you're smart, But shut up--like the oyster.


Fables for the Frivolous - 3/7

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