Tom Sawyer Abroad 63
he ain't big enough for a' animal. He mus' be a bug. Yassir, dat's what he is, he's a bug."
" I bet he ain't, but let it go. What's your second place?"
" Well, in de second place, birds is creturs dat goes a long ways, but a flea don't."
" He don't, don't he? Come, now, what is a long distance, if you know?"
" Why, it's miles, and lots of 'em — anybody knows dat."
" Can't a man walk miles?"
" Yassir, he kin."
" As many as a railroad?"
" Yassir, if you give him time."
" Can't a flea?"
"Well — I s'pose so — ef you gives him heaps of time."
"Now you begin to see, don't you, that distance ain't the thing to judge by, at all; it's the time it takes to go the distance in that counts, ain't it?"
"Well, hit do look sorter so, but I wouldn't 'a' b'lieved it, Mars Tom."
" It's a matter of proportion, that's what it is; and when you come to gauge a thing's speed by its size, where's your bird and your man and your railroad, alongside of a flea? The fastest man can't run more than about ten miles in an hour—not much over ten thousand times his own length. But all the books says any common ordinary third-class flea can jump a hundred and fifty times his own length; yes, and he can 5