ONE day an Opossum who had gone to sleep hanging from the highest branch of a tree by the tail, awoke and saw a large Snake wound about the limb, between him and the trunk of the tree.
"If I hold on," he said to himself, "I shall be swallowed; if I let go I shall break my neck."
But suddenly he bethought himself to dissemble.
"My perfected friend," he said, "my parental instinct recognises in you a noble evidence and illustration of the theory of development. You are the Opossum of the Future, the ultimate Fittest Survivor of our species, the ripe result of progressive prehensility - all tail!"
But the Snake, proud of his ancient eminence in Scriptural history, was strictly orthodox, and did not accept the scientific view.
A CAT was looking at a King, as permitted by the proverb.
"Well," said the monarch, observing her inspection of the royal person, "how do you like me?"
"I can imagine a King," said the Cat, "whom I should like better."
"The King of the Mice."
The sovereign was so pleased with the wit of the reply that he gave her permission to scratch his Prime Minister's eyes out.
A FOOLISH Fellow who had been told that he was a great man believed it, and got himself appointed a Commissioner to the Interasylum Exposition of Preserved Idiots. At the first meeting of the Board he was mistaken for one of the exhibits, and the janitor was ordered to remove him to his appropriate glass case.
"Alas!" he exclaimed as he was carried out, "why was I not content to remain where the cut of my forehead is so common as to be known as the Pacific Slope?"
A BLOTTED Escutcheon, rising to a question of privilege, said:
"Mr. Speaker, I wish to hurl back an allegation and explain that the spots upon me are the natural markings of one who is a direct descendant of the sun and a spotted fawn. They come of no accident of character, but inhere in the divine order and constitution of things."
When the Blotted Escutcheon had resumed his seat a Soiled Ermine rose and said:
"Mr. Speaker, I have heard with profound attention and entire approval the explanation of the honourable member, and wish to offer a few remarks on my own behalf. I, too, have been foully calumniated by our ancient enemy, the Infamous Falsehood, and I wish to point out that I am made of the fur of the MUSTELA MACULATA, which is dirty from birth."
About Ambrose Bierce: Um, well, duh. Along with his famous Devil's Dictionary, and invective, Bierce was also a fabulous fabulist. On occassional Wednesday when the times and the morals call for it or I've otherwise forgotten to ask someone to guest here, some of the fables may appear here on Wednesdays. More can be found using the link on the right, last under "Ambrose Bierce Resources."
How to be a guest on this site: There are two options: One is to be a writer famous for invective, die and ferment for ninety years. The other is to email me at dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, I'll email you with a word to define and ask you to return a satirical definition and at least one graphic representing you and or your definition by the following Saturday. The rules are: No profanity, no novels and whatever I make up at the last minute.