Joab was a beef, who was tired of being courted for his clean, smooth skin. So he backed through a narrow gateway six or eight times, which made his hair stand the wrong way. He then went and rubbed his fat sides against a charred log. This made him look untidy. You never loo...
<p>Joab was a beef, who was tired of being courted for his clean, smooth skin. So he backed through a narrow gateway six or eight times, which made his hair stand the wrong way. He then went and rubbed his fat sides against a charred log. This made him look untidy. You never looked worse in your life than Joab did.</p>
<p>“Now,” said he, “I shall be loved for myself alone. I will change my name, and hie me to pastures new, and all the affection that is then lavished upon me will be pure and disinterested.”</p>
<p>So he strayed off into the woods and came out at old Abner Davis’ ranch. The two things Abner valued most were a windmill and a scratching-post for hogs. They were equally beautiful, and the fame of their comeliness had gone widely abroad. To them Joab naturally paid his attention. The windmill, who was called Lucille Ashtonbury Clifford, received him with expressions of the liveliest disgust. His protestations of affection were met by creakings of contempt, and as he turned sadly away he was rewarded by a sound spank from one of her fans. Like a gentlemanly beef he did not deign to avenge the insult by overturning Lucille Ashtonbury; and it is well for him that he did not, for old Abner stood by with a pitchfork and a trinity of dogs.</p>
<p>Disgusted with the selfish heartlessness of society, Joab shambled off and was passing the scratching-post without noticing her. (Her name was Arabella Cliftonbury Howard.) Suddenly she kicked away a multitude of pigs who were at her feet, and called to the rolling beef of uncanny exterior:</p>
<p>Joab paused, looked at her with his ox-eyes, and gravely marching up, commenced a vigorous scratching against her.</p>
<p>“Arabella,” said he, “do you think you could love a shaggy-hided beef with black hair? Could you love him for himself alone?”</p>
<p>Arabella had observed that the black rubbed off, and the hair lay sleek when stroked the right way.</p>
<p>“Yes, I think so; could you?”</p>
<p>This was a poser: Joab had expected her to talk business. He did not reply. It was only her arch way; she thought, naturally, that the best way to win any body’s love was to be a fool. She saw her mistake. She had associated with hogs all her life, and this fellow was a beef! Mistakes must be...