The New Zealand Evangelist
Boys! Never put a foot in a public house. It is the resort of idlers, blackguards, bad fathers, and wicked children. In such a place who is safe? Never enter it. Shun it as the way to hell! Hear the fable of the rats:—
“The rats once assembled in a large cellar, to devise some method of safely getting the bait from a small steel trap which lay near, having seen numbers of their friends and relations snatched from them by its merciless jaws. After many long speeches, and the proposal of many elaborate but fruitless plans, a happy wit, atanding erect, said, ‘It is my opinion that, if with one paw we keep down the spring, we can safely take the food from the trap with the other.’ All the rats present loudly squealed assent, and slapped their tails in applause. The meeting adjourned, and the rats retired to their homes: but the devastations of the trap being by no means diminished, the rats were forced to call another ‘convention,’ The elders had just assembled, and had commenced the deliberations, when all were startled by a faint voice, and a poor rat with only three legs, limping into the ring, stood up to speak. All were instantly silent, when, stretching out the remains of his leg, he said, ‘My friends, I have tried the method you proposed, and you see the result! Now let me suggest a plan to escape the trap—Do not touch it!