Fables for the Frivolous Title: Fables for the Frivolous Author: Guy Wetmore Carryl Release Date: September 1, 2004 [EBook #6438] Language: English Credits: Produced by Steve Schulze, Charles Franks and...


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Fables for the Frivolous

Title: Fables for the Frivolous Author: Guy Wetmore Carryl Release Date: September 1, 2004 [EBook #6438] Language: English Credits: Produced by Steve Schulze, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. The scans for this book are from the Michigan State University Online Digital Collection http://digital.lib.msu.edu/onlinecolls/collection.cfm?CID=3 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--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 lite 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. Such a life the brain befuddles." This, of course, was banter merely, But it stirred the torpid blood Of the turtle, and severely Forth he issued from the mud. "Done!" he cried. The race began, But the hare resumed his banter, Seeing how his rival ran In a most unlovely canter. Shouting, "Terrapin, you're bested! You'd be wiser, dear old chap, If you sat you down and rested When you reach the second lap." Quoth the turtle, "I refuse. As for you, with all your talking, Sit on any lap you choose. I shall simply go on walking." Now this sporting proposition Was, upon its face, absurd; Yet the hare, with expedition, Took the tortoise at his word, Ran until the final lap, Then, supposing he'd outclassed him, Laid him down and took a nap And the patient turtle passed him! Plodding on, he shortly made the Line that marked the victor's goal; Paused, and found he'd won, and laid the Flattering unction to his soul. Then in fashion grandiose, Like an after-dinner speaker, Touched his flipper to his nose, And remarked, "Ahem! Eureka!" And THE MORAL (lest you miss one) Is: There's often time to spare, And that races are (like this one) Won not always by a hair. THE PATRICIAN PEACOCKS AND THE OVERWEENING JAY Once a flock of stately peacocks Promenaded on a green, There were twenty-two or three cocks, Each as proud as seventeen, And a glance, however hasty, Showed their plumage to be tasty; Wheresoever one was placed, he Was a credit to the scene. Now their owner had a daughter Who, when people came to call, Used to say, "You'd reelly oughter See them peacocks on the mall." Now this wasn't to her credit, And her callers came to dread it, For the way the lady said it Wasn'trecherch at all. But a jay that overheard it From his perch upon a fir Didn't take in how absurd it Was to every one but her; When they answered, "You don't tell us!" And to see the birds seemed zealous He became extremely jealous, Wishing, too, to make a stir. As the peacocks fed together He would join them at their lunch, Culling here and there a feather Till he'd gathered quite a bunch; Then this bird, of ways perfidious, Stuck them on him most fastidious Till he looked uncommon hideous, Like a Judy or a Punch. But the peacocks, when they saw him, One and all began to haul, And to harry and to claw him Till the creature couldn't crawl; While their owner's vulgar daughter, When her startled callers sought her, And to see the struggle brought her, Only said, "They're on the maul." It was really quite revolting When the tumult died away, One would think he had been moulting So dishevelled was the jay; He was more than merely slighted, He was more than disunited, He'd been simply dynamited In the fervor of the fray. And THE MORAL of the verses Is: That short men can't be tall. Nothing sillier or worse is Than a jay upon a mall. And the jay opiniative Who, because he's imitative, Thinks he's highly decorative Is the biggest jay of all. THE ARROGANT FROG AND THE SUPERIOR BULL Once, on a time and in a place Conducive to malaria, There lived a member of the race Of Rana Temporaria; Or, more concisely still, a frog Inhabited a certain bog. A bull of Brobdingnagian size, Too proud for condescension, One morning chanced to cast his eyes Upon the frog I mention; And, being to the manner born, Surveyed him with a lofty scorn. Perceiving this, the bactrian's frame With anger was inflated, Till, growing larger, he became Egregiously elated; For inspiration's sudden spell Had pointed out a way to swell. "Ha! ha!" he proudly cried, "a fig For this, your mammoth torso! Just watch me while I grow as big As you--or even more so!" To which magniloquential gush His bullship simply answered "Tush!" Alas! the frog's success was slight, Which really was a wonder, In view of how with main and might He strove to grow rotunder! And, standing patiently the while, The bull displayed a quiet smile. [Illustration: "HE STROVE TO GROW ROTUNDER"] But ah, the frog tried once too oft And, doing so, he busted; Whereat the bull discreetly coughed And moved away, disgusted, As well he might, considering The wretched taste that marked the thing. THE MORAL: Everybody knows How ill a wind it is that blows. THE DOMINEERING EAGLE AND THE INVENTIVE BRATLING O'er a small suburban borough Once an eagle used to fly, Making observations thorough From his station in the sky, And presenting the appearance Of an animated V, Like the gulls that lend coherence Unto paintings of the sea. Looking downward at a church in This attractive little shire, He beheld a smallish urchin Shooting arrows at the spire; In a spirit of derision, "Look alive!" the eagle said; And, with infinite precision, Dropped a feather on his head. Then the boy, annoyed distinctly By the freedom of the bird, Voiced his anger quite succinctly 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. THE ICONOCLASTIC RUSTIC AND THE APROPOS ACORN 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? THE UNUSUAL GOOSE AND THE IMBECILIC WOODCUTTER 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. THE RUDE RAT AND THE UNOSTENTATIOUS OYSTER 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. THE URBAN RAT AND THE SUBURBAN RAT A metropolitan rat invited His country cousin in town to dine: The country cousin replied, "Delighted." And signed himself, "Sincerely thine." The town rat treated the country cousin To half a dozen Kinds of wine. He served him terrapin, kidneys devilled, And roasted partridge, and candied fruit; In Little Neck Clams at first they revelled, And then in Pommery, sec and brut; The country cousin exclaimed: "Such feeding Proclaims your breeding Beyond dispute!" But just as, another bottle broaching, They came to chicken en casserole A ravenous cat was heard approaching, And, passing his guest a finger-bowl, The town rat murmured, "The feast is ended." And then descended The nearest hole. His cousin followed him, helter-skelter, And, pausing beneath the pantry floor, He glanced around at their dusty shelter And muttered, "This is a beastly bore. My place as an epicure resigning, I'll try this dining In town no more. "You must dine some night at my rustic cottage; I'll warn you now that it's simple fare: A radish or two, a bowl of pottage, And the wine that's known as ordinaire, But for holes I haven't to make a bee-line, No prowling feline Molests me there. "You smile at the lot of a mere commuter, You think that my life is hard, mayhap, But I'm sure than you I am far acuter: I ain't afraid of no cat nor trap." The city rat could but meekly stammer, "Don't use such grammar, My worthy chap." He dined next night with his poor relation, And caught dyspepsia, and lost his train, He waited an hour in the lonely station, And said some things that were quite profane. "I'll never," he cried, in tones complaining, "Try entertaining That rat again." It's easy to make a memorandum About THE MORAL these verses teach: De gustibus non est disputandum; The meaning of which Etruscan speech Is wheresoever you're hunger quelling Pray keep your dwelling In easy reach. THE IMPECUNIOUS CRICKET AND THE FRUGAL ANT There was an ant, a spinster ant, Whose virtues were so many That she became intolerant Of those who hadn't any: She had a small and frugal mind And lived a life ascetic, Nor was her temperament the kind That's known as sympathetic. I skip details. Suffice to say That, knocking at her wicket, There chanced to come one autumn day A common garden cricket So ragged, poor, and needy that, Without elucidation, One saw the symptoms of a bat Of several months' duration. He paused beside her door-step, and, With one pathetic gesture, He called attention with his hand To both his shoes and vesture. "I joined," said he, "an opera troupe. They suddenly disbanded, And left me on the hostel stoop, Lugubriously stranded. "I therefore lay aside my pride And frankly ask for clothing." "Begone!" the frugal ant replied. "I look on you with loathing. Your muddy shoes have spoiled the lawn, Your hands have soiled the fence, too. If you need money, go and pawn Your watch--if you have sense to." THE MORAL is: Albeit lots Of people follow Dr. Watts, The sluggard, when his means are scant, Should seek an uncle, not an ant! THE PAMPERED LAPDOG AND THE MISGUIDED ASS A woolly little terrier pup Gave vent to yelps distressing, Whereat his mistress took him up And soothed him with caressing, And yet he was not in the least What one would call a handsome beast. He might have been a Javanese, He might have been a Jap dog, And also neither one of these, But just a common lapdog, The kind that people send, you know, Done up in cotton, to the Show. At all events, whate'er his race, The pretty girl who owned him Caressed his unattractive face And petted and cologned him, While, watching her with mournful eye, A patient ass stood silent by. "If thus," he mused, "the feminine And fascinating gender Is led to love, I, too, can win Her protestations tender." And then the poor, misguided chap Sat down upon the lady's lap. Then, as her head with terror swam, "This method seems to suit you," Observed the ass, "so here I am." Said she, "Get up, you brute you!" And promptly screamed aloud for aid: No ass was ever more dismayed. [Illustration: "SAID SHE, 'GET UP, YOU BRUTE YOU!'"] They took the ass into the yard And there, with whip and truncheon, They beat him, and they beat him hard, From breakfast-time till luncheon. He only gave a tearful gulp, Though almost pounded to a pulp. THE MORAL is (or seems, at least, To be): In etiquette you Will find that while enough's a feast A surplus will upset you. Toujours, toujours la politesse, if The quantity be not excessive. THE VAINGLORIOUS OAK AND THE MODEST BULRUSH A bulrush stood on a river's rim, And an oak that grew near by Looked down with cold hauteur on him, And addressed him this way: "Hi!" The rush was a proud patrician, and He retorted, "Don't you know, What the veriest boor should understand, That 'Hi' is low?" This cutting rebuke the oak ignored. He returned, "My slender friend, I will frankly state that I'm somewhat bored With the way you bow and bend." "But you quite forget," the rush replied, "It's an art these bows to do, An art I wouldn't attempt if I'd Such boughs as you." "Of course," said the oak, "in my sapling days My habit it was to bow, But the wildest storm that the winds could raise Would never disturb me now. I challenge the breeze to make me bend, And the blast to make me sway." The shrewd little bulrush answered, "Friend, Don't get so gay." And the words had barely left his mouth When he saw the oak turn pale, For, racing along south-east-by-south, Came ripping a raging gale. And the rush bent low as the storm went past, But stiffly stood the oak, Though not for long, for he found the blast No idle joke. * * * * * * * * Imagine the lightning's gleaming bars, Imagine the thunder's roar, For that is exactly what eight stars Are set in a row here for! The oak lay prone when the storm was done, While the rush, still quite erect, Remarked aside, "What under the sun Could one expect?" And THE MORAL, I'd have you understand, Would have made La Fontaine blush, For it's this: Some storms come early, and Avoid the rush! THE INHUMAN WOLF AND THE LAMB SANS GENE A gaunt and relentless wolf, possessed Of a quite insatiable thirst, Once paused at a stream to drink and rest, And found that, bound on a similar quest, A lamb had arrived there first. The lamb was a lamb of a garrulous mind And frivolity most extreme: In the fashion common to all his kind, He cantered in front and galloped behind. And troubled the limpid stream. "My friend," said the wolf, with a winsome air, "Your capers I can't admire." "Go to!" quoth the lamb. (Though he said not where, He showed what he meant by his brazen stare And the way that he gambolled higher.) "My capers," he cried, "are the kind that are Invariably served with lamb. Remember, this is a public bar, And I'll do as I please. If your drink I mar, I don't give a tinker's ----." He paused and glanced at the rivulet, And that pause than speech was worse, For his roving eye a saw-mill met, And, near it, the word which should be set At the end of the previous verse. Said the wolf: "You are tough and may bring remorse, But of such is the world well rid. I've swallowed your capers, I've swallowed your sauce, And it's plain to be seen that my only course Is swallowing you." He did. THE MORAL: The wisest lambs they are Who, when they're assailed by thirst, Keep well away from a public bar; For of all black sheep, or near, or far, The public bar-lamb's worst! THE SYCOPHANTIC FOX AND THE GULLIBLE RAVEN A raven sat upon a tree, And not a word he spoke, for His beak contained a piece of Brie, Or, maybe, it was Roquefort: We'll make it any kind you please-- At all events, it was a cheese. Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb A hungry fox sat smiling; He saw the raven watching him, And spoke in words beguiling. "J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage." (The which was simply persiflage.) Two things there are, no doubt you know, To which a fox is used: A rooster that is bound to crow, A crow that's bound to roost, And whichsoever he espies He tells the most unblushing lies. "Sweet fowl," he said, "I understand You're more than merely natty, I hear you sing to beat the band And Adelina Patti. Pray render with your liquid tongue A bit from 'Gotterdammerung.'" This subtle speech was aimed to please The crow, and it succeeded: He thought no bird in all the trees Could sing as well as he did. In flattery completely doused, He gave the "Jewel Song" from "Faust." [Illustration: "'J'ADMIRE,' SAID HE, 'TON BEAU PLUMAGE'"] But gravitation's law, of course, As Isaac Newton showed it, Exerted on the cheese its force, And elsewhere soon bestowed it. In fact, there is no need to tell What happened when to earth it fell. I blush to add that when the bird Took in the situation He said one brief, emphatic word, Unfit for publication. The fox was greatly startled, but He only sighed and answered "Tut." THE MORAL is: A fox is bound To be a shameless sinner. And also: When the cheese comes round You know it's after dinner. But (what is only known to few) The fox is after dinner, too. THE MICROSCOPIC TROUT AND THE MACHIAVELIAN FISHERMAN A fisher was casting his flies in a brook, According to laws of such sciences, With a patented reel and a patented hook And a number of other appliances; And the thirty-fifth cast, which he vowed was the last (It was figured as close as a decimal), Brought suddenly out of the water a trout Of measurements infinitesimal. This fish had a way that would win him a place In the best and most polished society, And he looked at the fisherman full in the face With a visible air of anxiety: He murmered "Alas!" from his place in the grass, And then, when he'd twisted and wriggled, he Remarked in a pet that his heart was upset And digestion all higgledy-piggledy. "I request," he observed, "to be instantly flung Once again in the pool I've been living in." The fisherman said, "You will tire out your tongue. Do you see any signs of my giving in? Put you back in the pool? Why, you fatuous fool, I have eaten much smaller and thinner fish. You're not salmon or sole, but I think, on the whole, You're a fairly respectable dinner-fish." The fisherman's cook tried her hand on the trout And with various herbs she embellished him; He was lovely to see, and there isn't a doubt That the fisherman's family relished him, And, to prove that they did, both his wife and his kid Devoured the trout with much eagerness, Avowing no dish could compare with that fish, Notwithstanding his singular meagreness. And THE MORAL, you'll find, is although it is kind To grant favors that people are wishing for, Still a dinner you'll lack if you chance to throw back In the pool little trout that you're fishing for; If their pleading you spurn you will certainly learn That herbs will deliciously vary 'em: It is needless to state that a trout on a plate Beats several in the aquarium. THE CONFIDING PEASANT AND THE MALADROIT BEAR A peasant had a docile bear, A bear of manners pleasant, And all the love she had to spare She lavished on the peasant: She proved her deep affection plainly (The method was a bit ungainly). The peasant had to dig and delve, And, as his class are apt to, When all the whistles blew at twelve He ate his lunch, and napped, too, The bear a careful outlook keeping The while her master lay a-sleeping. As thus the peasant slept one day, The weather being torrid, A gnat beheld him where he lay And lit upon his forehead, And thence, like all such winged creatures, Proceeded over all his features. The watchful bear, perceiving that The gnat lit on her master, Resolved to light upon the gnat And plunge him in disaster; She saw no sense in being lenient When stones lay round her, most convenient. And so a weighty rock she aimed With much enthusiasm: "Oh, lor'!" the startled gnat exclaimed, And promptly had a spasm: A natural proceeding this was, Considering how close the miss was. [Illustration: AND SO A WEIGHTY ROCK SHE AIMED] Now by his dumb companion's pluck, Which caused the gnat to squall so, The sleeping man was greatly struck (And by the bowlder, also). In fact, his friends who idolized him Remarked they hardly recognized him. Of course the bear was greatly grieved, But, being just a dumb thing, She only thought: "I was deceived, But still, I did hit something!" Which showed this masculine achievement Had somewhat soothed her deep bereavement. THE MORAL: If you prize your bones Beware of females throwing stones. THE PRECIPITATE COCK AND THE UNAPPRECIATED PEARL A rooster once pursued a worm That lingered not to brave him, To see his wretched victim squirm A pleasant thrill it gave him; He summoned all his kith and kin, They hastened up by legions, With quaint, expressive gurgles in Their oesophageal regions. Just then a kind of glimmering Attracting his attention, The worm became too small a thing For more than passing mention: The throng of hungry hens and rude He skilfully evaded. Said he, "I' faith, if this be food, I saw the prize ere they did." It was a large and costly pearl, Belonging in a necklace, And dropped by some neglectful girl: Some people are so reckless! The cock assumed an air forlorn, And cried, "It's really cruel. I thought it was a grain of corn: It's nothing but a jewel." He turned again to where his clan In one astounding tangle With eager haste together ran To slay the helpless angle, And sighed, "He was of massive size. I should have used discretion. Too late! Around the toothsome prize A bargain-sale's in session." The worm's remarks upon his plight Have never been recorded, But any one may know how slight Diversion it afforded; For worms and human beings are Unanimous that, when pecked, To be the prey of men they far Prefer to being hen-pecked. THE MORAL: When your dinner comes Don't leave it for your neighbors, Because you hear the sound of drums And see the gleam of sabres; Or, like the cock, you'll find too late That ornaments external Do not for certain indicate A bona fide kernel. THE ABBREVIATED FOX AND HIS SCEPTICAL COMRADES A certain fox had a Grecian nose And a beautiful tail. His friends Were wont to say in a jesting way A divinity shaped his ends. The fact is sad, but his foxship had A fault we should all eschew: He was so deceived that he quite believed What he heard from friends was true. One day he found in a sheltered spot A trap with stalwart springs That was cunningly planned to supply the demand For some of those tippet things. The fox drew nigh, and resolved to try The way that the trap was set: (When the trap was through with this interview There was one less tippet to get!) The fox returned to his doting friends And said, with an awkward smile, "My tail I know was comme il faut, And served me well for a while." When his comrades laughed at his shortage aft He added, with scornful bow, "Pray check your mirth, for I hear from Worth They're wearing them shorter now." But one of his friends, a bookish chap, Replied, with a thoughtful frown, "You know to-day the publishers say That the short tale won't go down; And, upon my soul, I think on the whole, That the publishers' words are true. I should hate, good sir, to part my fur In the middle, as done by you." And another added these truthful words In the midst of the eager hush, "We can part our hair 'most anywhere So long as we keep the brush." THE MORAL is this: It is never amiss To treasure the things you've penned: Preserve your tales, for, when all else fails, They'll be useful things--in the end. THE HOSPITABLE CALEDONIAN ......Buy Now (To Read More)

Product details

Ebook Number: 6438
Author: Carryl, Guy Wetmore
Release Date: Sep 1, 2004
Format: eBook
Language: English


Illustrator: Newell, Peter, 1862-1924

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Items not in stock at the Booksdeli Warehouse:

Items that are NOT in stock at the Booksdeli Warehouse will need to be ordered from the supplier. Any title that does NOT feature a red 'in stock' star on the product information page of the individual title will need to be ordered from the supplier.

With 1 million titles listed on our website we are not able to keep stock of all titles, and the title you are seeking may have to be ordered from an Australian, UK, USA or other country supplier. Each item you order may have different delivery expectations depending on availability. Please also note that to offer the widest range of items online we rely on information provided by the publishers and distributors. Our website is updated regularly but titles can and do sometimes become temporarily unavailable whilst reprinting, or they may go out of print without prior notice from the publisher. If an item in your order is affected then Booksdeli staff will contact you via the email or message centre in your Booksdeli account to inform you of the delay and your order will be updated with the relevant information. You will receive an email asking you to log into your Booksdeli account because your order has been updated.

How long will it take to deliver this title to you?

  • After you place your order we will research where best to source this title.
  • You will be sent an email once your order has been processed requesting you to log in to your account to inform you of the delivery expectations of your order.
  • If delivery times are not suitable then you have 1 business day to contact Booksdeli to discuss faster delivery options. If Booksdeli is unable to fast track the delivery of this title for you then you have the option to cancel for a full refund. After 1 business day your order is a firm sale.

Delivery Expectations:

  • eBooks and Gift Certificates are delivered instantly.
  • Most of Booksdeli's titles are dispatched from our warehouse within 6 to 24 business days.
  • Booksdeli specialise in titles that are difficult to source. For example, University or Academic texts, older hardcover editions, or titles on very specific subjects, etc and these may take 16 to 30 business days to ship to you as they are not titles that suppliers keep readily available and need to be specifically ordered in.
  • Extremely specialised titles (i.e. indent titles) or titles waiting for a reprint can take 6 weeks to 4 months to source from suppliers around the world. Indent titles are firm sale and cannot be cancelled or returned.
  • Some titles are yet to be published so please pay attention to the publisher's predicted publish date when ordering and MORE IMPORTANTLY please check if there are other editions that are already published.

In all instances we will notify you of delivery times for each title with the information we have at the time of processing your order as discussed above. Please also add the appropriate number of days it may take for Australia Post or other preferred shipping companies for Australian orders or FedEx or other preferred shipping companies for international orders to deliver to you from Australian warehouses or from suppliers.

See Average Delivery Times in our SHIPPING & DELIVERY INFORMATION SECTION in the Help Centre for average delivery times from Australian warehouses.

Stock on hand at the Booksdeli warehouse will be shipped the next business day if there are no other items that are waiting for delivery from Booksdeli suppliers. Please note that if your order is placed during a "sale" period, dispatch time for 'in stock' items can be delayed due to increased volume of orders.

If items are not readily available then our Order Processing Team will endeavour to contact you via the email or message centre in your Booksdeli account to discuss the time frame for these items.

Items that are Pre-Orders will be ordered automatically unless the listed publication date changes.

How will I know if my order has been dispatched?

An automated 'shipped' email will be sent once your order has been dispatched from our warehouse. 

Insufficient and/or incorrect delivery information:

*** Address changes and/or corrections made through your Booksdeli Account will only affect future orders placed after the changes and/or corrections are made. Any changes and/or corrections for current orders must be done by contacting the Booksdeli Customer Care Team as soon as possible.***

(Don't forget to update your account for future orders after emailing Booksdeli)

Customers who enter addresses that Australia Post or any other shipping company have deemed having incorrect and/or insufficient details to ensure delivery may result in the following:

  • Delayed delivery
  • Lost parcel
  • Package/s returned to the Booksdeli Warehouse

If Booksdeli is found to be responsible for incorrectly addressing a package then Booksdeli will be responsible for the resending, replacement or refund of the items not delivered or delayed.

Any package returned to Booksdeli due to the above incorrect and/or insufficient information will require an extra delivery charge i.e. $8 for shipping the package again. Also, if Booksdeli has incurred extra fees to retrieve the package from Australia Post and other shipping companies then these charges will also be borne by the customer before the package can be despatched again.

If a package arrives back to the Booksdeli Warehouse due to the above incorrect and/or insufficient delivery issues and incurs damage to the item(s), Booksdeli will not be responsible for replacing the goods but will make every effort to add extra protection to resend the package once the extra delivery fee payments have been made.

If customers prefer a replacement, then they can elect to have them reordered and will be charged the RRP less 30% plus $8 shipping (stock permitting). If stock is no longer available at the same price at the time of ordering then Booksdeli will not be required to find a replacement or refund or store credit.

If a customer prefers not to receive the items as their requirements have changed then no refund or store credit will be provided due to "incorrect and/or insufficient address" details.

Any shipment that is delayed or lost and is found to have had incorrect and/or insufficient details provided by the customer will not be covered by Booksdeli. NO REFUNDS and NO STORE CREDITS are applicable.

If the package has the correct delivery information and is 'lost' by Australia Post or other preferred delivery company, Booksdeli will replace the items only after you have checked with your local Post Office as per the information in the Help Centre section of the website or, issue a store credit if the replacement copies will not arrive in time. If Booksdeli is unable to source a replacement copy due to the title no longer being available for whatever reason, a refund will be processed for the unavailable title. You must contact Booksdeli within six (6) weeks of receiving the automated 'shipping' email if your package has not arrived otherwise no store credit or refund (if applicable) will be available.

Mail redirections:

Customers please note that many of our Booksdeli customers inform us that their Australia Post Redirections and other shipping companies’ redirections do not work with packages. Booksdeli will not be responsible for replacing goods or extra costs if a redirection has not been successful. Please contact Customer Service before you move to ensure a current order has the updated details to minimize delays.

Please see our INSUFFICIENT AND/OR INCORRECT DELIVERY INFORMATION section in the Help Centre for more details and how to avoid errors in placing your order.

Orders with multiple items:

Customers with more than one item may be sent their items in multiple shipments. Booksdeli holds onto items for up to 2 hours after the first item has been allocated to the order to include as many items in one shipment as possible. Customers shipping to addresses in Australia pay a one off fee of $8 for as many shipments required per order. If you require items to be sent before the above time frame, an additional postage charge of $8 will apply. You can request items to be sent sooner by contacting the Booksdeli Customer Care Team. Overseas orders see below.

Overseas Orders:

All overseas orders are consolidated to one delivery.

If a Fed-Ex/UPS service or our preferred delivery service does not deliver to your specified address we reserve the right to cancel your order before it is processed.

Orders over the value of AUD$900 being delivered to all other countries will be liable for customs charges, taxes including GST and brokerage costs. These charges are the responsibility of the recipient and Booksdeli will not reimburse customers for these import costs or provide a refund or credit for any order if a customer refuses to pay them. Please contact our Customer Service Team to discuss what arrangements may be possible for your order.

All orders with an overseas delivery address are firm sale and a store credit or refund is not available. Note that this does not apply to Damaged or Faulty Items - see our Returns section of the Help Centre.

Completion of an order & outstanding items:

An order will be complete when either of the following occurs (i) all items were sent and delivered (ii) the order has been cancelled during the cooling-off period (iii) the customer nominated to pay by cheque, money order or bank transfer and the monies were never received by Booksdeli within 60 days of the date of the order and the unprocessed order was cancelled (iv) the customer received some items but nominated to get a credit or refund for the remaining amount (v) Booksdeli could not charge the credit card and the unprocessed order was cancelled (vi) the remaining items that are yet to be delivered in the order are no longer in print or available through Booksdeli's suppliers any more (vii) more than 120 days have passed since monies have been received on an order and Booksdeli was unable to source the title(s) and if so then the customer will receive a refund for the amount of the cancelled item, unless the customer wishes to wait longer for such title to become available. The ONLY exception applies to items Pre-Orders where the 120 days commences from the publish date.

Privacy Policy:

Booksdeli Pty Ltd keeps all personal information submitted in the strictest confidence. The information is kept on a secure server and is only used to process orders from Booksdeli. This information will not be released to anyone other than necessary to fulfill your order. In some instances Booksdeli Pty Ltd's suppliers will fulfill directly to you, the customer, to improve delivery times and your contact information is kept in the strictest confidence. We will not rent or sell your personal information to any third party outside of Booksdeli Pty Ltd without your permission.

Third-Party Service Providers: Booksdeli uses Australia Post, UPS, FedEx, and Spring Global Mail and other delivery companies to deliver packages. Booksdeli may provide these companies your details including emails and contact number ONLY to provide customers up to date delivery tracking of dispatched orders.