The Ostrich The Dromedary And The Fox
: Literary Fables Of Yriarte
A party of beasts assembled for pleasure,--
For beasts, like mankind, thus diversify leisure,--
With a thousand discussions of this and of that,
Were whiling the time in a sociable chat.
Of the different qualities, now they conversed,
That each animal marked; some among them rehearsed
The deserts of the Ant, of the Hound so sagacious;
While some praised the Bee, some the
"True, true," said the Ostrich; "but 'tis clear to me,--very,
That no beast surpasses my friend Dromedary."
"For my part," said Dromedary, "I must declare
That I think we can none with the Ostrich compare."
The assembly, astounded, was puzzled to guess
Why these two should so strange an opinion profess.
Could it be that they both were bulky and strong,
Or that both boasted necks so remarkably long?
Or that Ostrich was known as a simpleton rare,
While the other had surely no wisdom to spare?
Of their mutual ugliness were they both jealous,
Or that each could display a protuberance callous?
Or can it be--"Pooh!" said Reynard the sly;
"Are you all at a loss? then so am not I.
From Barbary both, of the desert, each brother,
As his fellow-countryman, praises the other."
* * * * *
Shrewdly our Fox the riddle has read;
Of writers in plenty the same may be said,
Who, to test a man's genius, ask where he was bred.