Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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A Needless Labour

AFTER waiting many a weary day to revenge himself upon a Lion for some unconsidered manifestation of contempt, a Skunk finally saw him coming, and posting himself in the path ahead uttered the inaudible discord of his race. Observing that the Lion gave no attention to the matter, the Skunk, keeping carefully out of reach, said:

"Sir, I beg leave to point out that I have set on foot an implacable odour."

"My dear fellow," the Lion replied, "you have taken a needless trouble; I already knew that you were a Skunk."

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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.