Fantastic Fables, Ambrose Bierce: The Citizen and the Snakes
The Citizen and the Snakes
A PUBLIC-SPIRITED Citizen who had failed miserably in trying to secure a National political convention for his city suffered acutely from dejection. While in that frame of mind he leaned thoughtlessly against a druggist's show-window, wherein were one hundred and fifty kinds of assorted snakes. The glass breaking, the reptiles all escaped into the street.
"When you can't do what you wish," said the Public-spirited Citizen, "it is worth while to do what you can."