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Forty Modern Fables, by George Ade, [1901], at

The Fable of The Girl with a Handicap Who Had to Lock Up Her Parents

    HERE we have a Fable regarding a Nice Girl who liked to have Young Men drop in of an Evening. She always used them the best she knew how and she might have closed a Deal early in the Game, had it not been for her Parents. They were not overly Bright, for they carried the Delusion that they could help Daughter in her efforts to jolly along the local Lotharios.

    Instead of taking to the Back Rooms and giving little Jeanette full Leeway in the Parlor, they would butt into the Tête-a-Tête and try to be Cordial with the Young Man.

    Father's Idea of making himself the Life of the Party was to tell of his Experiences at the Battle of Stone River and what he said to Cap and what Cap said to him. And plenty more that never got into the Records of the War Department. Mother thought it would Help Some if she would sit over by the Gentleman Caller and refer to the two Distinguished Relatives, so that the Young Man might know that there was a Family Tree. Mother's work was very much to the Sand-Paper and Jeanette would try to Call her off.

    After Father had told what he could remember about the Civil War and Mother had spread herself on the Prominence of their Connections in the East, the Young Man would move his Feet a few times and guess he would have to be going. Jeanette would follow him out to the Hallway and help him with his Coat and tuck in his Muffler and tell him to be sure and come back soon. He would Promise, of course, but it was Dollars to Dumplings that many a Moon would Wax and Wane ere George went against that Combination once more.

    Jeanette was a dutiful Child and respected her Parents, but after they had dished many a Bright Prospect she had to rise up and have her Say.

    "You two would be Strong Cards in an Old People's Home," she said, "but when it comes to fixing up a Good Time for one of the Boys, you are a couple of superannuated Shines. I am only a poor, weak Maiden, with a Vocabulary of about 300 Words, and I do not belong to the G. A. H. or know much about our Family History, but if you two will go lose yourselves and let me handle all Comers alone and single-handed, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there would be Something Doing in a little while."

    Although convinced that she needed their Assistance, they yielded to her Wishes. She moved the Sofa out in front of the Grate and extinguished all the Lights except a couple of blue Candles and the next time a Young Man called he didn't care if he never went home.

    And there was no War Talk.

    Then when she began to wear an Engagement Ring, Father and Mother had to Admit that she had been right.

MORAL: A Good Girl doesn't need any Help.

Next: The Fable of The Good Fellow Who Got the Short End of it