The Lion and the Rat book cover

The Lion and the Rat

"The Lion and the Rat" is a fable by Jean de La Fontaine that emphasizes the importance of kindness and the potential for reciprocity. The story tells of a rat who inadvertently wakes a lion from sleep. The lion spares the rat's life when he pleads for mercy and later, the rat comes to the lion's aid when he is entrapped in a net, gnawing through the ropes to free him. The main message of the book is that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Genre: Fable

It's well to please all people when you can; There's none so small but one his aid may need. Here are two fables, if you give good heed, Will prove the truth to any honest man. A Rat, in quite a foolish way, Crept from his hole between a Lion's paws; The king of animals showed on that day His royalty, and never snapped his jaws. The kindness was not unrepaid; Yet, who'd have thought a Lion would need aid From a poor Rat? Soon after that The Lion in the forest brake, In their strong toils the hunters take; In vain his roars, his frenzy, and his rage. But Mr. Rat runs up; a mesh or two Nibbles, and lets the Lion through Patience and length of time may sever, What strength and empty wrath could never.
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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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