Aesop vs Ambrose: The Cat and the Birds

Aesop’s fables are known the world over for their conciseness and easy to remember moral lessons. Ambrose Bierce couldn’t help but poke fun a bit at the seriousness of these fables, and produced his own version of Aesop’s famous tales that usually end a little more realistically. Read both versions here, or at Gutenberg.org (Aesop’s here, Ambrose’s here), or listen to them performed by me, Kay Mack.

Aesop-The Cat and the Birds

A cat, hearing that the Birds in a certain aviary were ailing dressed himself up as a physician, and, taking his cane and a bag of instruments becoming his profession, went to call on them. He knocked at the door and inquired of the inmates how they all did, saying that if they were ill, he would be happy to prescribe for them and cure them. They replied, “We are all very well, and shall continue so, if you will only be good enough to go away, and leave us as we are.”

Ambrose-The Cat and the Birds

Hearing that the Birds in an aviary were ill, a Cat went to them and said that he was a physician, and would cure them if they would let him in.

“To what school of medicine do you belong?” asked the Birds.

“I am a Miaulopathist,” said the Cat.

“Did you ever practise Gohomoeopathy?” the Birds inquired, winking faintly.

The Cat took the hint and his leave.

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