A rustic, preparing to devour an apple, was addressed by a brace of crafty and covetous birds:
“Nice apple that,” said one, critically examining it. “I don’t wish to disparage it — wouldn’t say a word against that vegetable for all the world. But I never can look upon an apple of that variety without thinking of my poisoned nestling! Ah! so plump, and rosy, and — rotten!”
“Just so,” said the other. “And you remember my good father, who perished in that orchard. Strange that so fair a skin should cover so vile a heart!”
Just then another fowl came flying up.
“I came in, all haste,” said he, “to warn you about that fruit. My late lamented wife ate some off the same tree. Alas! how comely to the eye, and how essentially noxious!”
“I am very grateful,” the young man said; “but I am unable to comprehend how the sight of this pretty piece of painted confectionery should incite you all to slander your dead relations.”
Whereat there was confusion in the demeanour of that feathered trio.
~”From the Fables of Zambri, the Parsee” in Cobwebs From an Empty Skull by Ambrose Bierce.~