The Wolf And The Fox

: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine

"Dear wolf," complain'd a hungry fox,

"A lean chick's meat, or veteran cock's,

Is all I get by toil or trick:

Of such a living I am sick.

With far less risk, you've better cheer;

A house you need not venture near,

But I must do it, spite of fear.

Pray, make me master of your trade.

And let me by that means be made

The fir
t of all my race that took

Fat mutton to his larder's hook:

Your kindness shall not be repented."

The wolf quite readily consented.

"I have a brother, lately dead:

Go fit his skin to yours," he said.

'Twas done; and then the wolf proceeded:

"Now mark you well what must be done,

The dogs that guard the flock to shun."

The fox the lessons strictly heeded.

At first he boggled in his dress;

But awkwardness grew less and less,

Till perseverance gave success.

His education scarce complete,

A flock, his scholarship to greet,

Came rambling out that way.

The new-made wolf his work began,

Amidst the heedless nibblers ran,

And spread a sore dismay.

The bleating host now surely thought

That fifty wolves were on the spot:

Dog, shepherd, sheep, all homeward fled,

And left a single sheep in pawn,

Which Renard seized when they were gone.

But, ere upon his prize he fed,

There crow'd a cock near by, and down

The scholar threw his prey and gown,

That he might run that way the faster--

Forgetting lessons, prize and master.

_Reality, in every station,_

_Will burst out on the first occasion._