Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fantastic fables

The great mass of people know of Ambrose Bierce through his Devil's Dictionary; but it is my opinion that his Fantastic Fables also are worthy of some attention. Herewith, three of my favourites.

"The Foolish Woman":

A Married Woman, whose lover was about to reform by running away, procured a pistol and shot him dead.

"Why did you do that, Madam?" inquired a Policeman, sauntering by.

"Because", replied the Married Woman, "he was a wicked man, and had purchased a ticket to Chicago."

"My sister," said an adjacent Man of God, solemnly, "you cannot stop the wicked from going to Chicago by killing them."

"Congress and the People":

Successive Congresses having greatly impoverished the People, they were discouraged and wept copiously.

"Why do you weep?" inquired an Angel who had perched upon a fence near by.

"They have taken all that we have," replied the People -- "excepting," they added, noting the suggestive visitant -- "excepting our hope in Heaven. Thank God, they cannot deprive us of that!"

But at last came the Congress of 1889.

From Æsopus Emendatus, "The Grasshopper and the Ant":

One day in winter a hungry Grasshopper applied to an Ant for some of the food which they had stored.

"Why", said the Ant, "did you not store up some food for yourself, instead of singing all the time?"

"So I did," said the Grasshopper; "so I did; but you fellows broke in and carried it all away."


Blogger naper271 said...

I like these short short stories.

12:13 pm  
Blogger Loren said...

Although nationalistic ('cityistic'?) pride makes the one about Chicago appeal to me, I think my favourite is "Congress and the People" (howsoever little idea I have what distinguished the Congress of 1889).

12:34 pm  
Blogger naper271 said...

i like the grasshoper one, sounds like a russian joke.

6:25 am  

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