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

The Fable of The Brotherhood of States & The Wife Who Was Responsible for the Jubilee

    HUBBY had promised to be home early for Dinner. He had one Foot on the Step of the StreetCar when he happened to remember that his Wife had told him to bring home a Basket of Gem Melons, because the Grocer did not keep the Kind she liked.

    Hubby objected to playing Pack-Pony on the Streets, but he knew there would be a catch-as-catch-can Talking Match if he failed to show up with those Melons, so he turned reluctantly and allowed the Car to go its Way.

    He sought a Delicatessen Store and bought a 5-pound Basket of undersized Canteloupes that looked as if they were Chapped. He started back to take the next Car, when he ran plump into an Old Friend from Memphis. The Acquaintance from the South said it was the Custom in his part of the Country when two Gentlemen met after a long Separation to pour a small Libation on the Altar of Friendship.

    "You will excuse me if I don't refuse," said Hubby, and the two began to look around for a Place with Potted Ferns in the Window.

    As they laid their Breast-Bones against the metallic Hand-Rail, Hubby saw a Vision of a Lady with Auburn Hair. She was watching the Cars unload at the Corner. There was what you might term a Baleful Gleam in her Eye, and she was beginning to tap the Floor with one Tootsie. Those who understand the Matrimonial Code know that when a Lady with Zaza Tresses begins to telegraph with one Foot, then is the Time to climb a Tree. Hubby did not mention the Vision to his Friend from Memphis. He did not believe in telling his Troubles to an innocent Third Party.

    The Man from Memphis ordered two Juleps. The Julep is built in a tall Vase. It consists of a leafy Roof Garden superimposed on a Display of Small Fruit, the whole underlaid with a Nansen Ice-Floe. Hubby had to take off his Hat in order to crawl through the Mint and get to the Beverage. As he looked at the fading Sunlight through the Kaleidoscope of Prismatic Flashes and Blushing Cherries, the Picture of 1Iabel with her Face against the Pane faded away and he beheld 10,000 stareyed Sirens in White, all singing "Dixie." He felt a great Love for the Southland welling up in his Heart.

    So he told the Barkeep to put the Basket of Melons on the lee and get busy with two more of the same.

    He took Memphis by the Hand and said that Mason and Dixon's Line was only a Memory. He wished to propose a Toast-to Sunny Tennessee, brightest Gem in the Diadem of States, the Home of Fair Women and Brave Men.

    After the second Julep he told the Barkeep to take the Melons out and feed them to the Cat and to order up a Carriage with two Drivers. On Second Thought he decided to take the Melons along to throw at the Are Lights in order to prove that the North and the South were One and Indivisible.

    Hubby arrived home at 2 A. M. carrying the Handle of the Basket. When she opened up on him, he proved to her that he would have been there at 6.15 if she had not asked him to purchase all those Supplies.

MORAL: Usually the Woman is to Blame.

Next: The Fable of The Good Fairy of the Eighth Ward and the Dollar Excursion of the Steam-Fitters