Road Dents

This was posted in alt.callahans by John Barnstead.

Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour farm cat steps up to the chalkline, a saucer of cream balanced contemplatively on his left fore-paw. He meows, which, being interpreted, means:

Friends, I am here tonight to propose a toast in protest against the cruel exploitation to which human beings subject other animals. I need not indicate the fate of laboratory mice: after all, I wouldn’t mind meting that out MYSELF if given the opportunity. Nor do I have in mind the way you denigrate the weasel: ‘to weasel out of it’ ‘pop goes the weasel’, and so forth. And I’m not speaking of the sable you use for your paint brushes or the mink you make into coats (although I might remark in passing that Cruella D’Evile has been cruelly misunderstood — anyone who could contemplate such a useful application for Dalmatian skins can’t be ALL bad…)

No, I have in mind that vicious English gardener, Gertrude Jekyll — is it any wonder that Robert Louis Stevenson used that surname for his famous story? I mean, the way she forced those dear little black-tipped tailed creatures to clear the clematis and wisteria from her gutters and roof, despite the fact that the contrast between them and the dead leaves and greenery made them easy prey for barn owls… Surely such a well-read woman must have realized that, as Shakespeare put it, “too hued is ermine to dig eaves for vine”…

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