A Trio Of Classics For April Fools...
The Unicorn In The Garden Once upon a sunny morning a man who
sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to
see a white unicorn with a golden horn quietly cropping the
roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his
wife was still asleep and woke her. “There’s a unicorn
in the garden,” he said. “Eating roses.” She
opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him. “The unicorn
is a mythical beast,” she said, and turned her back on
him. The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden.
The unicorn was still there; he was now browsing among the tulips.
“Here, unicorn,” said the man and pulled up a lily
and gave it to him. The unicorn ate it gravely. With a high
heart, because there was a unicorn in his garden, the man went
upstairs and roused his wife again. “The unicorn,”
he said, “ate a lily.” His wife sat up in bed and
looked at him, coldly. “You are a booby,” she said,
“and I am going to have you put in a booby-hatch.”
The man, who never liked the words “booby” and “booby-hatch,”
and who liked them even less on a shining morning when there
was a unicorn in the garden, thought for a moment. “We’ll
see about that,” he said. He walked over to the door.
“He has a golden horn in the middle of his forehead,”
he told her. Then he went back to the garden to watch the unicorn;
but the unicorn had gone away. The man sat among the roses and
went to sleep. And as soon as the husband had gone out of the
house, the wife got up and dressed as fast as she could. She
was very excited and there was a gloat in her eye. She telephoned
the police and she telephoned the psychiatrist; she told them
to hurry to her house and bring a strait-jacket. When the police
and the psychiatrist looked at her with great interest. “My
husband,” she said, “saw a unicorn this morning.”
The police looked at the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist looked
at the police. “He told me it ate a lily,” she said.
The psychiatrist looked at the police and the police looked
at the psychiatrist. “He told me it had a golden horn
in the middle of its forehead,” she said. At a solemn
signal from the signal from the psychiatrist, the police leaped
from their chairs and seized the wife. They had a hard time
subduing her, for she put up a terrific struggle, but they finally
subdued her. Just as they got her into the strait-jacket, the
husband came back into the house. “Did you tell your wife
you saw a unicorn?” asked the police. “Of course
not,” said the husband. “The unicorn is a mythical
beast.” “That’s all I wanted to know,”
said the psychiatrist. “Take her away. I’m sorry,
sir, but your wife is as crazy as a jay bird.” So they
took her away, cursing and screaming, and shut her up in an
institution. The husband lived happily ever after. Moral: Don’t
count your boobies until they are hatched. The Bear Who Let
It Alone In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown
bear who could take it or let it alone. He would go into a bar
where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he
would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on
the bar and say, “See what the bears in the back room
will have,” and he would go home. But finally he took
to drinking by himself most of the day. He would reel home at
night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge lamps,
and ram his elbows through the windows. Then he would collapse
on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife
was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.
At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform.
In the end he became a famous teetotaler and a persistent temperance
lecturer. He would tell everybody that came to his house about
the awful effects of drink, and he would boast about how strong
and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff.
To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands
and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the
umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming
his elbows through the windows. Then he would lie down on the
floor, tired by his healthful exercise, and go to sleep. His
wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.
Moral: You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over
too far backward.
The Little Girl and the Wolf One afternoon a big wolf waited
in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a
basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did
come along and she was carrying a basket of food. “Are
you carrying that basket to your grandmother?” asked the
wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her
where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and
he disappeared into the wood. When the little girl opened the
door of her grandmother’s house she saw that there was
somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached
no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that
it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap
a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the
Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little
girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.
Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it
used to be.
by James Thurber from Fables For Our Times (1940)