The Fox, the Monkey, and the Other Animals book cover

The Fox, the Monkey, and the Other Animals

"The Fox, the Monkey, and the Other Animals" is a classic collection of narrative poems and tales by Jean de La Fontaine. The French author spins delightful and charming stories around characters from the animal kingdom, primarily the cunning fox and the witty monkey, using these animal personas as satirical tools to subtly criticize human behavior and social-political situations of seventeenth-century France. The tales are engaging, often adorned with moral lessons, showcasing La Fontaine's mastery in storytelling.

Genre: Fable

The Animals (the Lion dead) Resolved to choose a King instead; The crown was taken from its case-- A dragon guarded well the place. They tried the crown, but, when they'd done, It would not fit a single one. Some heads too large, and some too small; Many had horns,--defects in all. The Monkey, laughing, tried it, too, And got his mocking visage through, With many wild, fantastic faces; And twisting gambols and grimaces. A hoop, at last, around his waist He wore it, and they cried, "Well placed!" He was elected. Each one paid Their homage to the King they'd made. The Fox alone laments the choice, But chokes it down with flattering voice. Paving his little compliments, To hide his secret sentiments. "Sire," to the King, he said, "I've pleasure To tell you I have found a treasure; A secret, but to me alone-- All treasures fall unto the throne." The young King, eager at finance, Ran fast himself, to catch the chance. It was a trap, and he was caught. The Fox said, when his aid he sought, "You think to govern us and rule; You cannot save yourself, you fool!" They turned him out, and, with some wit, Agreed that few a crown will fit.
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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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