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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Confiding Peasant and the Maladroit Bear

Guest Blogger Dept.: Say hello again to Guy Wetmore Carryl, here to give us another of his Fables for the Frivolous. You’ll love the kicker. (It roused my spouse from early
sleep / “The punchline?” she opined. “It’s cheap.”)


A PEASANT HAD a docile bear,
Drawing by Peter Newell
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.

Now by his dumb companion’s pluck,
Which caused the gnat to squall so,
The sleeping man was greatly struck
(And by the boulder, 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.

– Guy Wetmore Carryl, Fables for the Frivolous

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