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WOULDST like to know, O gentle reader, of the pleasures and pains of Hare and Hounds? then listen to the mournful story of Ferdinand Van Rasselas. When Ferdy appeared in front of Matthews, his six feet two of skin and bones clad in a nice new flannel shirt and in new brown knickerbockers and stockings to match, he created quite a sensation. His clean things, in comparison with the rough boating jerseys and dirty football trousers, made him conspicuous. In fact, Ferdy wished he were not quite so conspicuous, for it was n't pleasant to hear whispered remarks about "Freshy's telegraph poles," and "Freshy's leg is as big at the ankle as it is at the hip," and one fellow wanted to know which was his back and which was his chest. This last witticism almost brought the tears to Ferdy's eyes, and he had to bite his lip to keep from crying.
Ferdy began to feel better when they started, his long legs taking him along with the head men across the Common. "Ah," thought Ferdy, "now they'll see 'the telegraph poles' ain't so bad," and Ferdy "hitted 'er up" across the fences, and was soon at the head of the line, and the "whipper in" crying to him not to go so blankety fast or he'll tire out the crowd. As they run up the street Ferdy begins to have, oh, such a pain in his side, and you can hear his heart go thumpety-thump against his ribs. It's a sad day for this slender twig of the Van Rasselas stock. At last, after miles of streets and fields (so it seemed to Ferdy), they come to a wire fence with jagged points along the top, about three feet high. Ferdy tries to jump it, but his strength gives out and he sits on the top wire; the points tear his knickerbockers and pierce his epidermis, and Ferdy concludes it hurts much more than when he sat on a bent pin one day.
Nevertheless Ferdy plods on, rubbing the afflicted part with one hand, while the muckers scream at him to "hurry up, daddy-long-legs, you'll get left," but Ferdy is too wretched to mind such sarcasm. At last his wind is gone, his legs feel like lumps of iron, and there is a ploughed field and a brook between him and the hounds. Ferdy stumbles and tumbles over the ploughed furrows, and nerves himself to jump the brook - vain attempt! splash he strikes in the water and sinks to his waist in the slimy refrigerator. It is too much for Ferdy to bear, and he gives way to tears. Here let us leave him, and draw our moral from his sorrowful story.
MORAL: Don't run with the Hare and Hounds till you've tried it once.
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