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Group Four

31 A man argues

32 The deer misjudges

33 The dying farmer

34 The baby goat

35 The pigeons choose

36 The big trees

37 A mean dog

38 The selfish horse

39 A boy cries wolf

40 The fox outwits the crow

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40. The Fox Outwits the Crow

One day a young crow snatched a fat piece of cheese
From the porch of a house made of stone,
Then she flew to the top of a Juniper Tree
To enjoy her good fortune alone.

        But a fox passing by got a whiff of the cheese,
        The best of his favorite hors d'oeuvres,
        So he called to the crow, Hey, you glamorous thing,
        Does your voice match your beautiful curves?

The crow was so pleased by the flattering words
She quickly took out a libretto,
How fondly that fox will listen, she thought,
To hear how I caw in falsetto.

        She opened her mouth--and the cheese tumbled out,
        Which the fox gobbled up full of malice
        While he chuckled to think how that dim-witted crow
        Could believe she was MARIA CALLAS.

MORAL: Attending to flattery comes at a high price.

from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary



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