Page:The Zankiwank & the Bletherwitch (IA zankiwankblether00fitziala).pdf/37

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and the Bletherwitch

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nothing that ever happened, related by nobody that ever lived. And the moral is, that every one is quite innocent, only they must not do it again!”

“Ah! that is only your fun,” said Willie sagely, “because of the moral. Why do they give you so many morals?”

“I don’t know,” answered Æsop gravely. “But the Commentators and Editors do give a lot of applications and morals to the tales of my animals, don’t they?”

“I like a tale with a moral,” averred Maude, “it finishes everything up so satisfactorily, I think. Now, Mr Æsop, as you know so much, please tell us what a proverb is?”

“Ah!” replied Mr Æsop, “I don’t make proverbs. There are too many already, but a proverb usually seems to me to be something you always theoretically remember to practically forget.”

Neither of the children quite understood this, though Maude thought it was what her papa would call satire, and satire was such a strange