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Posts Tagged ‘James Thurber

The Scotty Who Knew Too Much

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A terrier named Thurber

Several summers ago there was a Scotty who went to the country for a visit. He decided that all the farm dogs were cowards because they were afraid of a certain animal that had a white stripe down its back. “You are a pussy-cat and I can lick you,” the Scotty said to the farm dog who lived in the house where the Scotty was visiting. “I can lick the little animal with the white stripe, too. Show him to me.” “Don’t you want to ask any questions about him?” said the farm dog. “Naw,” said the Scotty. “You ask the questions.”

… the Scotty gets skunked, then needled by a porcupine …

“But at least I have learned how you fight out here in the coutnry, and now I’m going to beat you up,” said the Scotty to the farm dog. So he closed in on the farm dog, holding his nose with one front paw to ward off the vitriol and covering his eyes with the other front paw to keep out the knives. The Scotty couldn’t see his opponent and he couldn’t smell his opponent and he was so badly beaten that he had to be taken back to the city and put in a nursing home.

Moral: It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.

James Thurber. Fables For Our Time

Written by aterrier

August 10, 2008 at 1:45 am

Thurber’s Airedale

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The photograph shows Muggs, the Thurber family Airedale dog made famous in James Thurber’s story “The Dog who Bit People.” The story appeared in Thurber’s My Life and Hard Times, a collection of short stories, in 1933.

“The Dog That Bit People” is the story of Columbus native James Thurber’s Airedale Terrier Muggs, the worst of the many pet dogs he had during his lifetime. Not only did Muggs bite family members, neighbors, and salesmen, he also bit a congressman and Lieutenant-Governor Malloy while they were visiting Thurber’s father. The family gave boxes of candy at Christmas to all those the dog had bitten during the previous year. The story was published on pages 92 to 109 of My Life and Hard Times, published in 1933, which is 153 pages in length and measures 5.5″ x 8″ (13.97 x 21.32 cm). It includes three humorous drawings.
From Ohio Historical Society

James Thurber (1894-1961) was born in Columbus, Ohio. His father, who had dreams of being an actor or lawyer, was said to have been the basis of the typical small, slight man of Thurber’s stories. Young James was partially blinded by a childhood accident–his brother William shot an arrow at him. When he was unable to participate in games and sports with other children, he developed a rich fantasy life, which would serve to inspire his later fiction. Between 1913 and 1918 he studied at The Ohio State University. He worked as a code clerk in Washington, D.C., and at the American embassy in Paris and as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune in Paris.

In 1926 Thurber went to New York City, where he was a reporter for the Evening Post before joining The New Yorker, where he found his clear, concise prose style and where fifteen of his books first appeared. Thurber’s wry humor showed great sensitivity to human fears and follies.

Thurber’s first book, Is Sex Necessary, appeared in 1929. The book presented Thurber’s drawings as well and instantly established him as a true comedic talent. Thurber left The New Yorker in 1933, but remained a contributor. In the 1950s Thurber published modern fairy tales for children. His eyesight became worse in the 1940s, and by the 1950s his blindness was nearly total. Thurber continued to compose stories in his head, and he played himself in 88 performances of the play A Thurber Carnival.
from Ohio Memory

Written by aterrier

June 15, 2008 at 10:53 am

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