Tag Archives: Fables in Slang


Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer on cowcatcherPART THIRTEEN: FABLES IN SLANG (1899)

George Ade, who can be glibly described as a minor league Mark Twain or Ambrose Bierce, was a newspaperman and humorist. All of his work is worth checking out, and I may very well do a series about his writing in the future, but for now I’m dealing only with his use of the Fool Killer in his 1899 work Fables in Slang.

Fables in the Vernacular would be a more accurate title, but that nit-pick aside, Ade’s collection of short fables were wryly humorous. They were written in a sort of “prose haiku” and anticipated Flash Fiction by nearly a century.

Fables in Slang“The written word equivalent of political cartoons” might be another way of describing the fables. In any event Ade did accompany the fables with assorted illustrations.

The Fable Of How The Fool Killer Backed Out Of A Contract is the Ade fable we’re concerned with in this blog post. This tale of the Fool Killer finds him in Alabama, thus adding another state to the territory covered in the travels of the homicidal vigilante. Previously I examined Fool Killer stories set in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia (back when it included what is now West Virginia).   Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History