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Funny Fairy Tales by Ambrose Bierce

The Fogy and the Sheik

A FOGY who lived in a cave near a great caravan route returned to
his home one day and saw, near by, a great concourse of men and
animals, and in their midst a tower, at the foot of which something
with wheels smoked and panted like an exhausted horse. He sought
the Sheik of the Outfit.

'What sin art thou committing now, O son of a Christian dog?' said
the Fogy, with a truly Oriental politeness.

'Boring for water, you black-and-tan galoot!' replied the Sheik of
the Outfit, with that ready repartee which distinguishes the

'Knowest thou not, thou whelp of darkness and father of disordered
livers,' cried the Fogy, 'that water will cause grass to spring up
here, and trees, and possibly even flowers? Knowest thou not, that
thou art, in truth, producing an oasis?'

'And don't you know,' said the Sheik of the Outfit, 'that caravans
will then stop here for rest and refreshments, giving you a chance
to steal the camels, the horses, and the goods?'

'May the wild hog defile my grave, but thou speakest wisdom!' the
Fogy replied, with the dignity of his race, extending his hand.

They shook.

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