Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Basking Cyclone

A NEGRO in a boat, gathering driftwood, saw a sleeping Alligator, and, thinking it was a log, fell to estimating the number of shingles it would make for his new cabin. Having satisfied his mind on that point, he stuck his boat-hook into the beast's back to harvest his good fortune. Thereupon the saurian emerged from his dream and took to the water, greatly to the surprise of the man- and-brother.

"I never befo' seen such a cyclone as dat," he exclaimed as soon as he had recovered his breath. "It done carry away de ruf of my house!"

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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.