The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit book cover

The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit

The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit is a fabled story by Jean de La Fontaine. This tale is all about a conflict over a little house, which the weasel occupied after it was hastily left by the cat. However, when the cat returns, a dispute arises. A naive little rabbit is chosen as the arbitrator of this dispute who, instead, takes the house for himself. The story unfolds around themes of dispute resolution, fallacy of arguments and cunningness.

Genre: Fable

A little Rabbit's charming nook A Weasel seized upon one morn; His household gods with him he took, Jane Rabbit's mansion to adorn. At break of day departed Jane, To munch amongst the thyme and roses, Returning, at her window-pane-- "Why, there the wicked Weasel's nose is!" "Oh, gracious goodness! what is here? Turned out of my paternal hall! From this you quickly disappear, Or I'll give all the rats a call." The Weasel simply said the Earth Always belonged to the first comer; All other claims were little worth: A sufferance tenant a misnomer. A little kingdom he had found: "Now, tell me, what more right have you To these domains, this patch of ground, Than Tom or Dick, than Nan or Sue?" "Usage and custom of the law," The Rabbit said, "give me the place: On sire's and grandsire's claims I stand-- I, who here represent their race." "A law most wise! can't be more wise!" Said cunning Weasel. "What of that? Our claims to settle, I devise A reference to our friend the Cat." It was a Cat of solemn mien-- A very hermit of a Cat:-- A saint, upon whose face was seen Precept and practice, law, and--fat. The Rabbit here agreed, and then They sought the pious Pussy's home. "Approach--I'm deaf, he said; and when They came, they told him why they'd come. "Approach, fear not, for calm is law; For law no one here ever lacks;" And, stretching on each side a claw, He broke both litigants' weak backs. This story calls unto my mind The sad result which often springs From squabbles of a larger kind, Which small grand-dukes refer to kings.
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Jean de La Fontaine

Jean de La Fontaine was a renowned French fabulist and one of the most famous poets during the French classical period. He was born on July 8, 1621, and died on April 13, 1695. Known for his literary style, he is best known for his "Fables", which are considered classics of French literature. His works were marked by his sophisticated style and moral substance, and his fables provided a scathing critique of French society during his time. more…

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