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Noah's Ark

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After much tribiilntion, Noah and his sons succeeded in completing the ark to their satisfaction, and, having llo:itod It, they brought it next the Bhore. adjusted the gang-plank and tixèd the time for all the ehosen anima Is to appear for embarkation. On i he moniing of the appointed day Noah took his station at theheadof thcgangway wit h his long list ready for checking, while his three sons prcparcd to usher the auimals to their proper quarters. "Now, this proposed voy age of Noah's had excited ïnuch talk among the neighbors, and consequent!}' niany dl o and curious people oame down to see tlie depavture. Among them was a worlhless, ribald fellow, Eli by name, a frequenter of inns and sinful places, who made himself conspicuous as he .sat on a stiimp and endeavorod to chail" the diligent Noah. "Thinkit's going to rain, hey, Noah?" he shouted, glancing around at the lowering sky. "Certainly!" replied the great weatlier profit, briskly beginning work. "Two 1 ons, tally!" "Much?" queried his interrogator. "Biggest rains yet. Two bears, tally! luit I warned you long since. Don't botlier me now at the last niinnit, I'm Ijusy. Two Guinea pigs, tally! Stop crpwding so, you beasts. ïhcre's lots of time," and the good man mot.ioned the pressing animáis back wTïh tl m style. "Want any help?" ventured Eli. "No-pe?" Two tigers, tally!" 'Til ship cheap." "Lcmme 'lone; I'm busy. Two panthers. tally!" "Taking aiiy passengers?" "No!" thundcred the exaspcrated seer, but mastering himself, continued in niilder tones: "Two antelopes, tally!" "Better try and make a littlo that wav. You'i'e going too much on live froight." 'Two sheep, tally! Can't you keep tillP" implorad the prophet. '■I'd like to work my passage," pergisted tho obnoxious man. 'I won't take one fooi. Two goats, tally!" "O, we'd make a pair," so that's no excuse." "Two hogs, tally!" cried Noah, ignoring tho wicked man. "Urn. I don't think it's going to ruin much anyhow," the worthlcss feliw hazarded, glancing around at the "I hope you'll find it is," replied the jhecJwr vindictively. "Two eleph - !" "Ali, t!iere! Look out, Noah!" sud■ lenly yelled the discordantEli. "Those lcpiiants are smuggling goods on ou." "Where?" cried the startled Noah, ■icrutinizing the animáis for contrajands. "Ju their trunks," replied the trifler, and all the wicked people lining the i lore set up a showt at the disconcertd wenther prophet. For a time the embarkation wentforvard without disturbance. Eli slowly aUe a hugc slice of watermelon, and h lenlly contemplated the proceedings wliile the people discussed tho sight. laving linished the melon, Eli tlu'ew the r'.nd to a cow, wiped his niouth on he back of his hand, and gliouted: "Look out, Noah, there go two female iloves in on vou!" "Mop! you doves," cried Noah, huriedly erasing tho tally mark. "Now lon't you try that game on me, and he kook his style indignantly. "But, father, the bird insists he's a male, cried Japhet, who was vorsod in he laiiEuage of fowls, and who had lushed up on seeing the commotion. "Von't you believe her," vociferated Bil, "She's fooling you. I guess I i now a she bird when I see hor." "Um!" faltered Noah, beginning to erspire in his quandary, "this is seriitts and must be settled at once, or we jhall ultimalely be in difficulty." Yi!" balled the exultant Kli; "can't vou teil a male f rom a female bird? slio! I don't believe you know whether t's goinsr to rain or not." "How am I to know ftnythingP" roaned the perplexed Noah. "I'm nlv good on weather probab'lities. i( P me out there, Kli, will you, that's :i good fellow, and I will remem'vor and i I cui't lind a ])lace for you when ihe curgo's all aboai'd." "W.'il," drawled the mollified Eli, "in that case I don't mind telline; you tlie secret It's a very old method, thoufh, and so simple that I'm surpr sc:d that such a weather sage as yourself never discovered or heard of one.3' "What is it?" askcd the anxious Noah. "We"!! have to pay tloser attention to these birds, or there will surely bo trouble." "Vcll. now," cheerfnlly replied Eli, "pull its ears, and if he squeaks it's a he, and if she squeaks it's a she." And whllfl the idle people hoarsely laughed the diseomfitea patriaeh angrily shook his fist at the low man. And wliile Noah and liis sons were debafmg hotv tliis dillieuHy sliould bo settled, the attentlon of Kli was caught by the lainentations of four kittens, piteonsly meowing to acconipany tho departí ng parents. The mot her softly bewailed the ultimatum of Noah, which pereinptoiily declarod that only two of a kind sliould cmbark. Eli, who had been eyeing the Jine wliilo Noah was tn ing to escape from U predicament, now quiekly slid down from the stunip on woich li e had been sitting and appioaching the disconsolat(i familv n:ade signs that he would assist tliein. A pair of opossums wcre synipathizingly gazing upon the meowing group, and going up to them Eli made signs tliat the kittens sliould be adniitted into the ponch of the female and be sniuggled aboard. Tho kittens had hardly beun placed in coneealment when the long proeession of animáis began m ving once more. Noali and his sons having concludcd that all questions relating to the sex of birds should be referred to the eagle, and that arbitrator having perched upon the gunwale, the embarkation proceeded. Twig the caninos, Noah," yelled Eli. " doga are full of lleas; better pitch them overboard than save sueh a lot of vermin." "Great Scott! and Iwas only to take two of a kind! Why didn't somelwly teil me about those infernal fleas beforo it was too late. Now the wholc human race will be pestered by fleas and I will have to bear the blame. I wish I was dead." Then. ohoking with choler, he returncd lo bis labor. "Two monkeys, tally!" "Hi!" howlcd Eli, that ain't fair; you're making a family of it. " Noali, in a paroxysm, threw his style at tho head of his tormentor and shouted: "Ham! Ham! Come here, quick! You are tho biggest of your brothers, (o over there and thrash that knave, Eli. Do anything to him; only gct rid of him." "Father," replied Ham, "I dare do anything rcasonable, but remembcr Eli is the bad man of his tribe. He'd only cnjoy sousing me in tho river. But if you desire it I'll argue with him from the deck." "Argue nothing, Ham," moaned tíoah. "I can do the arguing for the iauaily. Take your brothers there and liivc him uway. Pummel him soundly. Go, Ham." "Nay," answered tho son; "the wicked triumph ever in a fight which the rightcous know little about. He would drown us all before the flood ind our work would come to naught Lieason with him, my sire." "Reason be blowed," groanedNoah; "this is not a time to reason." In desperation, Noah oalled h's other sons, and n consultation was held. Tlie wicked pcopie lining tlio shore, tiring of the embarkation, now began to seek amusement by throwing stones among the animáis and creaSng conEusion by teasing and starting lights aiuong the larger and fiereer bcast. A wanton man standing near a pair cf júñalo, wlio were quietly moving forward, preceeding a pair of híppo:)otami, suddenly jabbed a stick into .he haunch of the nearest baffalo, and, turning quickly, gazed uncoucernrdly down the rivev. The bufl'alo wheeled jriskly on receiving the llirust, but no one appeared to be the offender but the uk-bearing hippopotamus in the rear. Sardly had the buffalo faced to the 'ront whon the jab was repeated. This time the animal bounced about in a rage and glared at the stolid hippopotamus, who tranquilly gazed back. Tlie júñalo, swallowing his iré once more, faced to the front, only to be severly abbed again. This was too much; the neensed animal let both heels drive straight into the face of the tranquil lippopotamus. That animal emittöd one terrific bullo w and drove right in,o the enemy. The charge of thehuge aeast bowled over the whole line of au i mals. Peil mell they all went, mstled, crammed and jammed against the ark, up the gang-plank and over the deck of the vessel. The ter ri lied mimáis, erideavoring to escape the awFul crush, carricd Ham and Japhet ïeadlong ovor the opposite side of th ark. Noah and Shem were lost aniid the confused masa of struggling beases. The battered form of eacn was finally seen endeavoring to climb upon the ranwale. llaving straddled this posision, Noah called to Jáphet, hád crawled up the bank, to reform the broken line. Ham seized tho dangüng log ofi. lis ancestor, and, pulling himself into( tho ark, he began expostulating:' "Father, it is useless to go oa in thisi Eashion. ThatT last "move of tlie Wfck ed has driven almost all the animáis abroad. Whjc_caunot we cut adrift and sai I? We have a goodiy'nnmber ibro.vd safe and sound, whereas if wc proceèd wc may lose what we. have, umi our labors wiii' have been for naught. Again. if - " "Oh, Noah, you haven't any mules. What'll you do your ploughing witli?" shouted Eli. "That's a f act," said Noah, and he, phnnped down on the deck in despair. "Why didn't that double-skulled Shem think of it! Say, Eli, won't you hunt; up a pair and bring them down liere riglit away - that's a good fellow. " ■'Hu, ha !" and Eli laughed till nei feil off the stump backward. "Mules - oh, Noah, what you don't know about natural history would (11 that dizzy old ark itcslf. Mules ! Oh, hold me or I'll die." The patriarch stared for a moment., and then his face grew scarlet. He' reac'icd for his gun, drew his hand. back, extended it again toward the weapon, and then with a hurculcan effort turned his back to the shoutiug mob on the shore, saying, sotto voce, "l'm mighty glad Eli is going to be drowned!" "Hi, Noah!" shouted Eli from his stump. "ready for another batch for your old menagerie. Hurry Op, more smigrants a-coming." ; "You, Kli, you - you - vagabond, get down olïthat stump and clear out, or l'll have an oflicer come and remove you." "Ya! you'll have an officerhere soon enough," bawled Eli, tauntingly. "I hcard all jour creditors had put theiri bilis in Joshua's hands for collection,, and he'U be here beforo you know it and seize your ugly old craft. ltightly, too, for trying to bamboozle all 'hese ignorant animáis and gull them off on; a tra vel ing show." "Father, let us be gone," again pleaded Ham. "See, the wicked have, stirred the remaining animáis to rage and sonie are tampering with the gangplank." Tlie brothers echoed Hiims prayer. Noah glanced uneasily up Ihe valfey-path, where a man was seen rapidly approaching. "Well, be it as you say," he answered, gloomily. "Cast over the gang-plank. When the deserted animáis on shoro, the mastodon, unicorn and others destined lo perish from the face of the earth. saw these signs of departnre, the roaring, snorting, bellowing and howling wer! tiemendous, and it was fully echoed from the inside of the ark as the crowded animáis began to feel the novel niotion of their refuge. The dissolute people shouted and hooted with groat clamor, but Noah and his sons, though very pale and much excited, strove zealously to put a gulf between themselves and the wicked. "Ovor sho goes, boys!" cried Noah, soizing tlie tiller, while his crew of sons laborea at tho gang-plank. As the ark swung clear of the shore, Noah wiped his despondent brow and muttered: "Blank the tlood, anyhow; I'll stay behind next time and drown." - San Francisco Examiner.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat