James Thurber, the well-known American humorist, wrote a number of “beast” fables. In them he pokes fun at our shortcomings by having his animal characters act as humans do. One of these fables is entitled “The Mouse and the Money.”
It seems a city mouse moved to the country to live in the walls of an old house. From the start, he lorded it over the country mice. He grew handlebar whiskers, wore his hair in the “Dry Look,” and talked with an accent. He even told the country mice that they were beneath him, or as he put it, that they came “from the wrong side of the mouse tracks.” Every day the newcomer bragged about his forebears, and when he ran out of ancestors he made some up. “My great-great-great-grandfather,” he said, “was a theater mouse at the Comedie-Francais in Paris. My family came to America in the bridal suite of a great French ocean liner. My brother is now a restaurant…
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