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The Zankiwank

bowed most politely as they approached him, and then went on their way gaily frisking, for this was their weekly half-holiday.

“How do you like my Menagerie,” enquired the Dwarf. “Rough and ready, perhaps, but as docile as a flat-iron if you treat them properly.”

“It is just like the Zoo," declared Willie. “Or the animals in Æsop’s Fables,” suggested Maude.

This delighted the Dwarf very much, for though he looked so serious, he was full of good humour and skipped about with much agility.

“Good! Good!” he cried. “Æsop and the Zoo! Ha! Ha! He! He! Anybody can be a Zoo but only one can be Æsop, and I am he!”

“Æsop! Are you really Mr Æsop, the Phrygian Philosopher?” cried Maude.

King Æsop, I should say,” corrected Willie. “I am glad we have met you, because now, perhaps, you will kindly tell us what a Fable really is.”

“A Fable,” said the merry Æsop, with a twinkle in his witty eyes, “is a fictitious story about