The Fond Father

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The Fond Father.

HUMP has one child and he is forever talking about that infant. He has told us how clever she is till we can't stand it any more. When he begins, "The smartest thing" every one rushes away.

Well, the other day he followed me on the street, and while I was looking for a place to turn off, he talked so differently I thought the man was crazy. Said he, "It's wonderful how silly children are. Now, my little girl was telling a story to your Charlie; the stupidest thing I ever heard. She said that in Populus Land there are plenty of geese, and they are nearly all so poor that they are scarcely food for powder. There are lots of frog ponds there and places for geese to build on. But these geese make big nests with great labor, and then hand them over to a lot of fat geese that just sit on the ground and gabble. They appoint a few noisy geese to govern them. When they are ill served by these office-holders, they choose others just as bad. They buy all their food from old geese that first found out that there was any food to be had, or who invented the art of swallowing it. Whenever the fat ones want a favor, they bribe the noisy rulers with some of the food that the others bring them. A few of these geese, she said, form companies which are granted rights of way in the air, so that no other geese can take flight without paying fares. Then, she said, some cf the geese claim all the land, and the water, too, because they were bought from the mosquitoes, or because those geese got there first."

"Did she say where that place was?" I asked.

"No," said he, "but she said the poor geese had made it a perfect hell for themselves."

I said: "It serves them right for being so selfish and stupid; now, if they hadn't been geese—eh—I mean—that is a silly—why, that's just what we do ourselves!"

Bolton Hall.

  • Bolton Hall, “The Fond Father,” Life 38, no. 977 (July 25, 1901): 68.