Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories The Big Brag, Lines 34 – 51 Summary
And It Continues
Here we start to see a key element of a "Big Fish" story: exaggeration.
The rabbit waits for seven long minutes before declaring what he has heard. And when he's done, he doesn't report hearing something plausibly audible, like the wailing of elephants as they stampede across the plain or Elaine Benes asking Jerry to GET OUT.
No. He's heard a fly hacking up a lung. Which is ridiculous, because flies don't have lungs. And somehow, he's also able to determine that the fly is, oh, ninety miles away or so.
That settles that, right?
Nope. Sure, the rabbit's impressive exaggeration is enough to make the bear sulk for a while and feel bad that his hearing can't compare to that of the rabbit's.
Sure, the bear, just like Gertrude McFuzz, isn't a fan of looking like a fool next to someone who has something better than him.
But it's not long before he remembers his own strength: his nose. Turns out, the bear isn't afraid of exaggerating himself, throwing around comparative adjectives like the "greatest of smellers" and claiming to be able to smell "anything, both far and near."
And so, the arms race continues. Brinkmanship. Calling Dr. Brinkmanship to the front desk.