The Cat And The Fox

: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine

The cat and fox, when saints were all the rage

Together went upon pilgrimage.

Our pilgrims, as a thing of course,

Disputed till their throats were hoarse.

Then, dropping to a lower tone,

They talk'd of this, and talk'd of that,

Till Renard whisper'd to the cat,

"You think yourself a knowing one:

How many cunning tricks have you?

For I've a
hundred, old and new,

All ready in my haversack."

The cat replied, "I do not lack,

Though with but one provided;

And, truth to honour, for that matter,

I hold it than a thousand better."

In fresh dispute they sided;

And loudly were they at it, when

Approach'd a mob of dogs and men.

"Now," said the cat, "your tricks ransack,

And put your cunning brains to rack,

One life to save; I'll show you mine--

A trick, you see, for saving nine."

With that, she climb'd a lofty pine.

The fox his hundred ruses tried,

And yet no safety found.

A hundred times he falsified

The nose of every hound.--

Was here, and there, and everywhere,

Above, and under ground;

But yet to stop he did not dare,

Pent in a hole, it was no joke,

To meet the terriers or the smoke.

So, leaping into upper air,

He met two dogs, that choked him there.

_Expedients may be too many,_

_Consuming time to choose and try._

_On one, but that as good as any,_

_'Tis best in danger to rely._