The Abbreviated Fox And His Sceptical Comrades

A poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl

A certain fox had a Grecian nose
And a beautiful tail. His friends
Were wont to say in a jesting way
A divinity shaped his ends.
The fact is sad, but his foxship had
A fault we should all eschew:
He was so deceived that he quite believed
What he heard from friends was true.

One day he found in a sheltered spot
A trap with stalwart springs
That was cunningly planned to supply the demand
For some of those tippet things.
The fox drew nigh, and resolved to try
The way that the trap was set:
(When the trap was through with this interview
There was one less tippet to get!)

The fox returned to his doting friends
And said, with an awkward smile,
"My tail I know was comme il faut,
And served me well for a while."
When his comrades laughed at his shortage aft
He added, with scornful bow,
"Pray check your mirth, for I hear from Worth
They're wearing them shorter now."

But one of his friends, a bookish chap,
Replied, with a thoughtful frown,
"You know to-day the publishers say
That the short tale won't go down;
And, upon my soul, I think on the whole,
That the publishers' words are true.
I should hate, good sir, to part my fur
In the middle, as done by you."

And another added these truthful words
In the midst of the eager hush,
"We can part our hair 'most anywhere
So long as we keep the brush."

THE MORAL is this: It is never amiss
To treasure the things you've penned:
Preserve your tales, for, when all else fails,
They'll be useful things--in the end.

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