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PAGE 5

Fables Of Zambri, The Parsee
by [?]

This fable teaches that when you extend your residence you multiply your experiences. A local eel can know but little of angling.

CXXXII.

Some of the lower animals held a convention to settle for ever the unspeakably important question, What is Life?

“Life,” squeaked the poet, blinking and folding his filmy wings, “is–.” His kind having been already very numerously heard from upon the subject, he was choked off.

“Life,” said the scientist, in a voice smothered by the earth he was throwing up into small hills, “is the harmonious action of heterogeneous but related faculties, operating in accordance with certain natural laws.”

“Ah!” chattered the lover, “but that thawt of thing is vewy gweat blith in the thothiety of one’th thweetheart.” And curling his tail about a branch, he swung himself heavenward and had a spasm.

“It is vita!” grunted the sententious scholar, pausing in his mastication of a Chaldaic root.

“It is a thistle,” brayed the warrior: “very nice thing to take!”

“Life, my friends,” croaked the philosopher from his hollow tree, dropping the lids over his cattish eyes, “is a disease. We are all symptoms.”

“Pooh!” ejaculated the physician, uncoiling and springing his rattle. “How then does it happen that when we remove the symptoms, the disease is gone?”

“I would give something to know that,” replied the philosopher, musingly; “but I suspect that in most cases the inflammation remains, and is intensified.”

Draw your own moral inference, “in your own jugs.”

CXXXIII.

A heedless boy having flung a pebble in the direction of a basking lizard, that reptile’s tail disengaged itself, and flew some distance away. One of the properties of a lizard’s camp-follower is to leave the main body at the slightest intimation of danger.

“There goes that vexatious narrative again,” exclaimed the lizard, pettishly; “I never had such a tail in my life! Its restless tendency to divorce upon insufficient grounds is enough to harrow the reptilian soul! Now,” he continued, backing up to the fugitive part, “perhaps you will be good enough to resume your connection with the parent establishment.”

No sooner was the splice effected, than an astronomer passing that way casually remarked to a friend that he had just sighted a comet. Supposing itself menaced, the timorous member again sprang away, coming down plump before the horny nose of a sparrow. Here its career terminated.

We sometimes escape from an imaginary danger, only to find some real persecutor has a little bill against us.

CXXXIV.

A jackal who had pursued a deer all day with unflagging industry, was about to seize him, when an earthquake, which was doing a little civil engineering in that part of the country, opened a broad chasm between him and his prey.

“Now, here,” said he, “is a distinct interference with the laws of nature. But if we are to tolerate miracles, there is an end of all progress.”

So speaking, he endeavoured to cross the abyss at two jumps. His fate would serve the purpose of an impressive warning if it might be clearly ascertained; but the earth having immediately pinched together again, the research of the moral investigator is baffled.

CXXXV.

“Ah!” sighed a three-legged stool, “if I had only been a quadruped, I should have been happy as the day is long–which, on the twenty-first of June, would be considerable felicity for a stool.”

“Ha! look at me!” said a toadstool; “consider my superior privation, and be content with your comparatively happy lot.”

“I don’t discern,” replied the first, “how the contemplation of unipedal misery tends to alleviate tripedal wretchedness.”

“You don’t, eh!” sneered the toadstool. “You mean, do you, to fly in the face of all the moral and social philosophers?”

“Not unless some benefactor of his race shall impel me.”

“H’m! I think Zambri the Parsee is the man for that kindly office, my dear.”

This final fable teaches that he is.