The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse book cover

The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse

The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse by Jean de La Fontaine is a remarkable fable from the classic collection known as 'Fables de La Fontaine'. The story features a sly fox, a greedy wolf, and a wise horse. It revolves around the animal characters that use wit, cunning and humor to survive in a perilous world. Through the tale, La Fontaine delivers moral lessons on wisdom, courage, and the occasional foolishness of trying to be someone you're not.

Genre: Fable
Year:
1668
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A Fox, still young, though rather sly, Saw, first time in his life, a Horse. Just then a stupid Wolf passed by, And Reynard saw a game, of course. "Come, see this thing that's feeding near; He's grand. I view him with delight! Is he more strong than us, my dear? Think you with both of us he'd fight?" Replied the Wolf, with laughter--"Now Draw me his portrait: then I'll tell." The Fox said, "Could I write, or show On canvas all his beauties well, "Your pleasure would be great indeed. But, come--what say you? He may be Some easy prey, on whom we'll feed, By Fortune sent to you and me." The Horse, still feeding on the plain, Scarce curious to see the pair, Planned flying with his might and main, For wolves have tricks that are unfair. The sly Fox said, "Your servants, sir; We wish to know your name." The Horse Had brains; so said, "My shoemaker Has put it round my shoe, of course. "Read, if you can. There is my name." The Fox had store of craft in need: He cried, "My parents were to blame; They taught me not to write or read. 'Tis only mighty wolves who learn To read: they read things in a breath!" Our flattered Wolf here made a turn; But vanity cost him his teeth! The clever Horse, as he drew near, Held high his hoof: his plan he saw. It cost the reading Wolf most dear,-- Down came the hoof upon his jaw. With broken bones, and bloody coat, Upon the ground the poor Wolf lay. "Brother," the Fox said, "only note The truth that we've heard people say. "With wisdom, what had been your case? No pain would need to be discussed. This Horse has stamped upon your face That 'unknown things wise men mistrust.'"
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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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