The Lobster and his Mother
Agreenish young Lobster crawling along the Strand with his mother (who, being old and learned, had attained to a deep Blue complexion), was struck by the appearance of a specimen of his own tribe—evidently laid out for show—whose shell-jacket was of a brilliant red. Young, ignorant, and vain, he viewed the dazzling spectacle with admiration and envy.
“Behold,” he said, addressing his parent, “the beauty and splendour of one of our family, thus decked out in glorious scarlet. I shall have no rest till I am possessed of an appearance equally magnificent. How can I bear to see myself the dingy object I am at present, mingling undistinguished with our race?”
“Proud and heedless idiot,” replied the hard old lady, “this same tawdry finery, you so earnestly covet, is but too easily obtained. In order to possess this appearance it is only necessary to be boiled”
When the Recruiting Sergeant tempts you with the scarlet uniform, he says nothing about getting you into hot water.
From The Fables of Æsop and Others, Translated into Human Nature, by Charles H. Bennett.London: W. Kent and Company, 1857.