A knife and book were so dismayed at the way they were treated that they decided to escape together, so the knife slid out of the kitchen drawer one evening and went to join the book, who had fluttered down from his shelf and was waiting for him at the back door.

“We'll steal the master's bicycle and make a rapid getaway!” suggested the book. The knife readily agreed to this, so they unlocked the garage and took the bicycle, and soon they were racing down the road away from the house. But they were still anxious that the owner of the bicycle might be running after them on foot.

“Pedal faster!” urged the knife.

“I can't,” replied the book, “because I don't have legs.”

“Neither do I,” said the knife.

Now they were freewheeling down a steep hill, accelerating towards a brick wall at the bottom. “Put the brakes on!” cried the book. And he shut his covers tightly and trembled.

“I can't,” squeaked the knife, “because I don't have hands.”

“Neither do I,” said the book.

“I've learned a valuable lesson today,” sadly sighed the knife, “because even though you are a much-reprinted textbook on Bicycle Maintenance, you don't actually know anything about the day-to-day operation of these popular machines. And now it seems we are going to be mangled beyond recognition in a dreadful collision!”

And so they were. But the wall just smiled.

¶ This fable is a warning to pure theorists to get their hands dirty with some practical work. If they refuse to do so, it is almost certain they will eventually get their faces bashed in.