Quotes Parables

December 10th to 16th


Acccording  to the custom of Vermont, Sunday afternoon is salting-time on the farm, and, unless something very important happens, we attend to the salting ourselves


The opening lines of “”A Walkimg Delegate””. Collected  in The Day’s  Work. One of the horses, like a socialist agitator, tries  to stir up his fellows to resist their servitude. The others, who are contented with their lot, deal with him summarily.

‘B00k—Book—Domesday Book!’ They were letting in the water for the evening stint at Robert’s Mill, and the wooden Wheel where lived. the Spirit of the Mill settled to its nine-hundred-year-old song: ‘Here  rapidly diminishing before the incursions of the brown variety.


The opening lines of “Below the Mill Dan”, collected in Traffics and Discoveries.  The grey cat and the black rat reminisce about the long story of the mill.

It is a fable warning against the complacent  country-house  conservatism   of the late Victorians, resistant  to change and modernity,  personified by the cat, which bears a striking  resemblance to the elegant indolent figure of  Arthur  Balfour, the conservative Prime Minister.

If the  stock had not been old and overcrowded, the Wax-moth would never have entered; but where bees are too thick on the comb there must be sickness or parasites.


These are the opening lines of “The Mother Hive“, collected in Actions and Reactions.

Drawing on Kipling’s own knowledge as a bee-keeper this  is another of his parables, warning against  self-indulgent ‘progressive’ ideas, , sapping discipline and needed effort at a dangerous time