The Two Parrots, the Monarch, and His Son book cover

The Two Parrots, the Monarch, and His Son

"The Two Parrots, the Monarch, and His Son" by Jean de La Fontaine is a moralistic fable offering lessons in wisdom and virtue. It tells the story of a Monarch who, along with his son, are being advised by two parrots. The Monarch and his son have different temperaments and view points, creating conflicts and misunderstandings. Using wit, humor and charm, the parrots guide them towards harmony, imparting valuable lessons on leadership, understanding, and mutual respect. The fable emphasizes the importance of listening and understanding differing perspectives.

Genre: Fable

A Parrot and his child, 'tis said, On royal dishes daily fed, Having the affections won Of a monarch and his son. An equal age made either pair Affection for each other bear. The fathers gravely loved each other; And their chicks, though wild and young, At school or play, together clung, As fondest brother unto brother. That a parroquet thus by the son of a king Should be loved, need we say, was a wonderful thing. Now the fates had endowed this young heir to the throne With a love for all creatures that he called his own; And a Sparrow, by arts which caused prudes to despise her, Had contrived how to make this great Monarch's son prize her. And so it chanced, alack! one day. That the rivals twain, at play, Fell into a desperate rage; And the youthful Parrot, stung By some taunt the Sparrow flung, Attacked, and sent her dying to her cage. And then the Prince, with equal fury seized, The slayer snatched, and in a death-grip squeezed. Soon to the Parrot-father's ears The tidings came, and then the air Was tortured by his wild despair; But nought availed, or moans or tears, For his child was lying still-- Inanimate, with voiceless bill. Then from his woe the bird awoke, And, with a cruel, double stroke, Tore out the wretched Prince's eyes. This done, unto a pine he flies, And on its topmost branch he knows What joy from satiate vengeance flows. Runs, then, the King to him, and cries, "Come down, my friend, our tears are vain; In love let's bury woe and hate. This wretchedness, 'tis very plain, Comes from my son; or, rather, Fate Had long since writ her stern decree, Your son should die, and mine not see, And that we parents twain should live disconsolate." On this the father bird replied-- "Too great a wrong us twain divide; Nor can I think he'll smother hate, Who heathenishly speaks of Fate. But whether it be Providence Or Fate that rules our lives, I'm sure That I will never move from hence Till tempted by some wood secure. I know that in a kingly breast Vengeance for a time may rest; But kings are also like the gods, And, soon or late, you feel their rods. I can scarcely trust you far, Though sincere you think you are; But you are losing time below, For with my will I'll never go. And trust me, hate, like love, is best By absence lullabied to rest."
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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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