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J. H. Stickney

The Rat and the Elephant

A RAT, traveling on the highway, met a huge Elephant, bearing his royal master and the master's favorite dog, cat, parrot and monkey. Behind them came a retinue of servants and many courtiers.

An admiring crowd followed the great beast and his attendants, so that the entire road was filled

"How foolish you are," said the Rat to the people, "to make such a fuss at seeing an elephant. Is it his great bulk that you so much admire? Mere size is nothing. At most it can only frighten little girls and boys, and I can do that as well. I am a beast as well as he. I have as many legs, and ears, and eyes. If you will take the trouble to compare us, you will see that I have finer parts. What right, then, has he to take up all the highway, which belongs to me as well as to him?

At this moment, the Cat from her high place spied the Rat. She jumped to the ground and soon convinced him that he was not an Elephant.