Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Blotted Escutcheon and the Soiled Ermine

A BLOTTED Escutcheon, rising to a question of privilege, said:

"Mr. Speaker, I wish to hurl back an allegation and explain that the spots upon me are the natural markings of one who is a direct descendant of the sun and a spotted fawn. They come of no accident of character, but inhere in the divine order and constitution of things."

When the Blotted Escutcheon had resumed his seat a Soiled Ermine rose and said:

"Mr. Speaker, I have heard with profound attention and entire approval the explanation of the honourable member, and wish to offer a few remarks on my own behalf. I, too, have been foully calumniated by our ancient enemy, the Infamous Falsehood, and I wish to point out that I am made of the fur of the MUSTELA MACULATA, which is dirty from birth."

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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.