This entertaining little allegory is about a town whose mayor and common council turned economic planners. They would make the city rich through taxation and through subsidies. The story is remarkably pertinent today. The penetrating satire of the tale, its ageless truths, and its simplicity and shortness, make it a classic. We read irony from preface to finis, but gentle and humorous irony. The author is expressing not his own ideas and arguments but those of the economic planners. And he is laughing at them.Originally published in 1909, this facsimile reprint rescues an almost lost gem, and it pays respect to the memory of its author, a great scholar and a kindly man.David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) was a noted educator, scientist and peace activist. Educated at Cornell University, Butler University, and the Indiana University School of Medicine he became the President of Indiana University in 1885, the youngest university president in the nation at the time. Six years later, he accepted the post of President of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he remained, first as president and later as chancellor, until his retirement.Dr. Jordan was a renowned expert in many fields. His training was mainly in ichthyology, the study of fish, and he was widely regarded in that field. He served as an expert witness on the validity of the theory of evolution at the Scopes trial in Tennessee. In addition, he was known for his work in education and philosophy, publishing many works on those subjects.