A BIT OF A
Soon after Adam
arrived in the Garden of Eden all the animals held
a great meeting to talk things over. They wanted
most of all to talk about themselves. and talk they
did for three whole days and nights. At the end of
it all they had settled all things with great
satisfaction - with one exception.
They knew what their
teeth were for,
"Teeth are to rend
and slay." Roared the
"So they are !"
Piped a little rabbit ; "So you'd better be
"Claws !" Coughed
the tiger, "claws are to rip and
"Splendid ! lisped
the mouse ; "I'm a wonderful
"Noses !" trumpeted
the elephant, "noses are to sniff and scent the
"Mine's a beauty !"
chattered the monkey.
"Legs !" snarled the
wolf, "Legs are to carry one swiftly to the ends of
"I love mine best of
all," grunted the
And so they went on
and on, perfectly pleased and satisfied with their
bodies and all their parts. BUT when it came to
their tails, they simply didn't know what to say.
They couldn't see no possible use for tails, and
after puzzling over it for a long while, with much
wrangling and jangling and bickering, they decided
to go and ask
So off they
trooped in a vast crowd, and presently were come to
Adam, seated lazily under a spreading
"Well , my little
ones, my pretty ones, what do you want ?" asked
The fox, who because
of his cleverness had been made spokesman, replied,
"Oh Father Adam, we are very pleased with
"So you ought to be," replied Adam, with a
"We love our teeth,"
went on the fox, "and our claws and our ears and
our legs and our eyes and our noses and all things
"Well ?" inquired
Adam, "What then
"Except our tails,"
"You don't like them
"Oh we like
them all right, Father Adam," replied the fox,
"It's just we don't know what to do with them. Are
they of any use, or are they just beautiful and no
"Beautiful and no
more !" cried Adam. "Why what more do you want ?
Isn't it enough to be beautiful, eh ? You
"oh yes, of course,
dear Father Adam," went on the fox very humbly,
"but we should like to use our tails as well. What
would you suggest that I should do with my fine
"You !" said Adam.
"Why, sweep away your footprints with it, and then
no one can follow you." And the fox, who was
already something of a purloiner, thanked Adam with
all his heart and hurried
And then all
the others began to crowd about Adam, begging him
to tell them the best use they could mmake of their
"Swish off the flies
with yours, old Cow," he said to the
with yours, and sit up as I do," he said to the
At that moment a
loud squealing and squeaking was heard. It was the
guinea-pig crying and sobbing that it was unfair
because he had no tail. But Adam told him to take
himself off, and that perhaps one day if he were
good his tail might grow. Alas it never did grow,
and we can only think he was a little naughty now
Last of all to come
were the cat and the dog together. The cat was in a
very bad temper, and as the dog jostled her in his
eagerness she cried, "Keep away from me, you clumsy
wretch, or I'll scratch your
But the dog only
grinned, and lolled out his tongue.
"Grinning ninny !"
hissed the cat. "I hate animals who are always
grinning. Why do you do it, you dolt
happy and good-tempered," replied the
"And a very good
reason too," said Adam; and resting his head upon
his hand he thought for a
his head, he looked at the dog and asked, "Are you
often happy and pleased ?"
replied the dog. "Do you know, I really believe
that I like every one
"And would you like
to show all the world when you are pleased and
happy ?" asked
"He does !"
interrupted the cross cat; "he grins like a
"Hold your tongue !"
cried Adam sternly. "Very well, then,"continued
"So you shall. When
you feel pleased and happy, wag your
"Oh splendid !"
cried the dog, careering round and wagging his tail
Then Adam turned to
the cat. "You had better do the same," said
"I shall do nothing
of the sort," replied the cat sulkily; I hate dogs.
Lolling his silly tongue and wagging his silly
tail, and pleased with every
"Well what will you
do then ?" asked Adam
"Easy" said the cat.
"I shall wag mine when I'm cross !" hissed the
"You'll soon get
tired !" laughed
"You'll wag it right
off !" giggled a mouse, who had been
Oops . . and that
was how the first mouse came to be chased by the
And it also explains
why you'll never, never, never see an angry dog
wagging it's tail; but you will see cross-patch
cats wagging their tails, all day and every day.