Friday, 22 November 2013

A passive disciple

A bear, who had worn himself out walking from one end of his cage to the other, addressed his keeper thus: 

“I say, friend, if you don’t procure me a shorter cage I shall have to give up zoology; it is about the most wearing pursuit I ever engaged in. I favour the advancement of science, but the mechanical part of it is a trifle severe, and ought to be done by contract.”

“You are quite right, my hearty,” said the keeper, “it is severe; and there have been several excellent plans proposed to lighten the drudgery. Pending the adoption of some of them, you would find a partial relief in lying down and keeping quiet.”

“It won’t do — it won’t do!” replied the bear,  with a mournful shake of the head, “it’s not the orthodox thing. Inaction may do for professors, collectors, and others connected with the ornamental part of the noble science; but for us, we must keep moving, or zoology would soon revert to the crude guesses and mistaken theories of the azoic period. 

And yet,” continued the beast, after the keeper had gone, “there is something novel and ingenious in what the underling suggests. I must remember that; and when I have leisure, give it a trial.” 

It was noted next day that the noble science had lost an active apostle, and gained a passive disciple.


Scrobs... said...

Classic Bierce!

Demetrius said...

It doesn't bear thinking about.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - it is indeed. One of my favourites.

Demetrius - I knew the post would bear a pun or two!