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Funny Fairy Tales by Ambrose Bierce

The Humble Peasant

AN Office Seeker whom the President had ordered out of Washington
was watering the homeward highway with his tears.

'Ah,' he said, 'how disastrous is ambition! how unsatisfying its
rewards! how terrible its disappointments! Behold yonder peasant
tilling his field in peace and contentment! He rises with the
lark, passes the day in wholesome toil, and lies down at night to
pleasant dreams. In the mad struggle for place and power he has no
part; the roar of the strife reaches his ear like the distant
murmur of the ocean. Happy, thrice happy man! I will approach him
and bask in the sunshine of his humble felicity. Peasant, all
hail!'

Leaning upon his rake, the Peasant returned the salutation with a
nod, but said nothing.

'My friend,' said the Office Seeker, 'you see before you the wreck
of an ambitious man - ruined by the pursuit of place and power.
This morning when I set out from the national capital - '

'Stranger,' the Peasant interrupted, 'if you're going back there
soon maybe you wouldn't mind using your influence to make me
Postmaster at Smith's Corners.'

The traveller passed on.


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