Ade's Fables (Paperback)
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Ambition came, with Sterling Silver Breast-Plate and Flaming Sword, and sat beside a Tad aged 5.The wee Hopeful lived in a Frame House with Box Pillars in front and Hollyhocks leading downtoward the Pike."Whither shall I guide you?" asked Ambition. "Are you far enough from the Shell to have anydefinite Hankering?""I have spent many Hours brooding over the possibilities of the Future," replied the Larva. "Iwant to grow up to be a Joey in a Circus. I fairly ache to sit in a Red Wagon just behind the Bandand drive a Trick Mule with little pieces of Looking Glass in the Harness. I want to pull Mugs at allthe scared Country Girls peeking out of the Wagon Beds. The Town Boys will leave the Elephantand trail behind my comical Chariot. In my Hour of Triumph the Air will be impregnated withCalliope Music and the Smell of Pop-Corn, modified by Wild Animals."Ambition went out to make the proper Bookings with Destiny. When he came back the Boy wasten years old."We started wrong," whispered Ambition, curling up in the cool grass near the Day-Dreamer."The Trick Mule and the Red Cart are all very well for little Fraidy-Cats and Softies, but a braveYouth of High Spirit should tread the Deck of his own Ship with a Cutlass under his Red Sash. Aye, that is Blood gauming up the Scuppers, but is the Captain chicken-hearted? Up with the Black Flag Let it be give and take, with Pieces of Eight for the Victor "So it was settled that the Lad was to hurry through the Graded Schools and then get at hisBuccaneering.But Ambition came back with a revised Program. "You are now Fifteen Years of Age," said theWonderful Guide with the glittering Suit. "It is High Time that you planned a Noble Career, following a Straight Course from which there shall be no Deviation. The Pirate is a mere swaggeringBravo and almost Unscrupulous at times. Why not be a great Military Commander? The Procedureis Simple. Your Father gives the Finger to the Congressman and then you step off the Boat at WestPoint. Next thing you know, you are wearing a Nobby Uniform right out on the Parade Ground, while bevies of D butantes from New York City and other Points admire you for the stern Profileand Military Set-Up. After that you will subdue many Savage Tribes, and then you will march upPennsylvania Avenue at the head of the whole Regular Army, and the President of the United Stateswill be waiting on the Front Porch of the White House to present you with a jewelled Sword onbehalf of a Grateful Nation.