IN the good old days a gentleman in the East one day missed his dog. He sent for his sedan bearers, and asked them to go in quest of it.
They said, "We are not here to seek for your dog, but simply to bear your sedan."
"You are perfectly right," said the gentleman, "so I shall go in quest of the dog; bring up the sedan at once." The gentleman got into his sedan, and the men had to take him over hill and dale till they were quite tired. They then said with one voice, "Sir, we beg of you ta stop; we can hardly stand on our legs any more. If you wish to seek for the dog farther, we shall go in quest of it."
"Do so," said the gentleman, smiling,, and walked home.
"Alas," said the men as they sat down under a tree to rest their weary limbs, "often mending is but marring."
ONCE a lion was sleeping in his den at the foot of a great mountain. A gadfly that had been sipping the blood and froth from his mouth bit him severely. The lion started up with a roar, and catching the fly in his huge paws, said, "Villain, you are at my mercy! How shall I punish your impudence?"
"Sire," said the fly, "if you would pardon me now, and let me live, I shall be able to show before long how grateful I am to you."
"Indeed," said the lion; "who ever heard of a gadfly helping a lion? But still I admire your presence of mind and grant your life."
Some time after, the lion, having made great havoc on the cattle of a neighbouring village, was snoring away in his den after a heavy meal. The village hunters approached with the object of surrounding him and putting an end to his depredations.
The fly saw them, and hurrying into the den, bit the lion. He started up with a roar as before, and cried, "Villain, you will get no pardon this time!"
"Sire," said the fly, "the village hunters are on their way to your den; you cannot tarry a moment here without being surrounded and killed."
"Saviour of my life!" said the lion as he ran up the mountain. "Being odiously bitten for the second time worked well, unlike killing oneself!"
A SAGE in the East once went to a certain country, where he saw this: The children said they were hungry; the mothers cooked their breakfast and placed it before them.
Just as the children were putting the food to their lips a number of rude men rushed in and carried off the dishes. The mothers quietly observed the scene without complaining, nor did the children make any stir.
The sage was surprised, and asked what all that meant. The mothers said, "Sir, we beseech you to observe a while more." Then the children started, and went about seeking for their breakfast, which the men had hidden somewhere, and after much ado got it and appeased their hunger.
The mothers turned to the sage, and said, "Sir, in our country we teach our children patience thus. We cultivate meaner children."
A GOOSE that was once cackling with great pride thought that a mushroom was gazing at it, and said, "You contemptible thing, why do you stare at me like that? You can never hope to meet me on terms of equality, can you?"
"Certainly, madam," said the mushroom, "and that very soon."
This enraged the goose more, so she said, "I would cut you up to pieces with my bill but for the people who are close by, and who are so silly as to care for you," and went strutting away. Soon after the goose and mushroom were served up in separate dishes, very near each other.
"Ah," said the mushroom, "you see we have met after all, and so closely. Those who have a common long-run fate tend to be friends."<
A FOX once entered a merchant's warehouse, and finding nothing to his taste, was quietly going out. The merchant, who wished to have a joke with him, said, "My dear sir, may I know what you wish to purchase?"
"I am afraid you don't have it," said the fox.
"What! we have everything, from a needle to an anchor," said the merchant. "That is just what I want," said the fox. "If you have a needle as big as an anchor, and an anchor as small as a needle, you will oblige me!"
"Ah!" said the merchant; "in war and wit, they win by a hit!"
A COBBLER once paid a visit to a farmer. The turkey in the farmyard began to cackle. The cobbler snatched a stick and ran towards the fowl.
"What are you going to the turkey for?" said the farmer.
"Why," said the man, "the silly fowl has no manners. I stand here and it says ' Gobble, gobble, gobble.' I mean to teach it a lesson!"
"Ah!" said the farmer; "many there are that would not be called by their right names!"
* The word in the East is "chuckle."