The Two Goats book cover

The Two Goats

"The Two Goats" is a fable by Jean de La Fontaine that illustrates the consequences of stubbornness and lack of compromise. The story revolves around two goats who find each other on opposite ends of a narrow mountain pass. Both goats desire to cross, but neither is willing to give way to the other. The result is a deadly confrontation in which both goats fall into the abyss. This story serves as an important moral lesson about the value of compromise and understanding.

Genre: Fable
Year:
1668
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Since goats have ever clambering browsed, By Nature's gentle force aroused, They've wandered far and wandered free, Enjoying sweets of liberty. Their greatest pleasure is to find Paths all unknown to human kind: A rock, or hanging precipice, Suits these wild animals' caprice: No wall can make their gambols cease. Two white-foot Goats, then, thus inspired, And with adventurous spirit fired, Deserted pastures too well known, And chose their routes, each one his own. But though each separate pathways took, It chanced they reached the self-same brook, O'er which, for bridge, a plank was thrown, That scarce would have sufficed for one. The stream was deep, the flood was wide, And should these dames have terrified; But, spite of danger, each young lady Advanced upon the plank unsteady. And now, by aid of history, Louis le Grand I seem to see Philip the Fourth advance to meet Upon the isle of conference. Well, step by step, with agile feet, Our ramblers, with a proper sense Of what was due to ancestry, Refused to yield; for one Goat, she Could claim that Polyphemus laid Her sire at Galatea's feet; The other, just as boldly, said Her dam was Amalthæa sweet-- The goat who gave her milk to Jove, Who rules below, and reigns above. Neither would yield, so both fell down, And there we leave our Goats to drown. Of moral I've not much to say: But such things happen every day.
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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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