Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Old Man and the Pupil

A BEAUTIFUL Old Man, meeting a Sunday-school Pupil, laid his hand tenderly upon the lad's head, saying: "Listen, my son, to the words of the wise and heed the advice of the righteous."

"All right," said the Sunday-school Pupil; "go ahead."

"Oh, I haven't anything to do with it myself," said the Beautiful Old Man. "I am only observing one of the customs of the age. I am a pirate."

And when he had taken his hand from the lad's head, the latter observed that his hair was full of clotted blood. Then the Beautiful Old Man went his way, instructing other youth.

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