The Kite and the Nightingale book cover

The Kite and the Nightingale

"The Kite and the Nightingale" is a representation of Jean de La Fontaine's classic style, featuring anthropomorphic characters engaged in moral and philosophical debates. This story, laced with clever humor and rustic imagery, portrays the age-old clash of the city dweller and the countryman, embodied by a haughty kite (bird of prey) and a wise nightingale. The fable explores themes such as social construct, humanity's relation with nature and its fellow beings, and the power of reason versus physical might.

Genre: Fable

Submitted by davidb on September 28, 2023

A Daring thief, a Kite by name, Spread dire alarm o'er hill and dale. E'en little children cried, "For shame!" When he pounced on a Nightingale. The bird of Spring for life prayed well-- "I'm fit for songs, and not for eating; Oh, hear my notes, and I will tell My tale of Tyreus, still repeating." "Tyreus! is that good food?" then said The Kite. "No, no;" was the reply; "He was a mighty king, who made His love to me, with vow and sigh. "His cruel love was strong: too strong! 'Twas mad--'twas criminal: now, sire, Let me transport you with my song; A song so sweet you must admire." Not having eaten all the day, The Kite had other views of things. Thus--"What's the use of music, pray? I, too, can talk of mighty kings. "When you take kings--or kings take you-- Sing to them and their pretty dears; I'm hungry, and know what to do-- An empty stomach has no ears."
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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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